(Listen to the conversation at www.mauitime.com.)
MARK D’ANTONIO: You’ve gotta give props to Tommy—it’s hard enough to sell, but to sell something that doesn’t even exist yet. It was nearly like pulling a rabbit out of his hat.
TOMMY RUSSO: And then having to grow revenue. I mean, you just had to sell and sell and sell and get from nowhere to enough where you could continue to print, pay rent and barely eat.
D’ANTONIO: That’s exactly where it was. For the first year, I have to say, we lived paycheck to paycheck.
RUSSO: I remember we had a serious, serious discussion—maybe four months, five months into it—whether we could spend 120 bucks on a fax machine. That was a big—
D’ANTONIO: Hard times.
RUSSO: Because we didn’t need it. It was a luxury because we used the computer to receive our faxes—it did take someone to jump up and run to the computer and make sure it was ready to receive it. So it was a luxury to have the fax answer itself…
D’ANTONIO: I’d say after a year—and a year of Top Ramen or frozen chicken patties and all this crazy Costco food that we survived on—after a year of that—
RUSSO: Chicken Parm burritos.
D’ANTONIO: I just had a moment.
RUSSO: Oh, those were good Chicken Parmesan burritos.
D’ANTONIO: We had to name it something extravagant, but it was pretty much just a chicken patty with spaghetti sauce.
RUSSO: In a tortilla. With cheese… MTW