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Have You Met?

From busboy to restaurateur, Rocco Mangel is synonymous with tacos, tequila, and good times. His Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar empire – with six restaurants in Florida and one in Brooklyn, NY – is at the forefront of the Mexican cuisine game. Rocco is bringing it to your backyard one city at a time.

 

As a self-­‐made man, Rocco has uncanny knack for making guests feel like they just arrived at the best party in town, a fiesta with Authentic Mexican food, handcrafted margaritas and your favorite music pumping through the speakers. When fans hear the buzzword “Tequila!” echo through the restaurant, everyone prepares for Rocco to take his spot on top of the bar: dancing in his legendary white shoes and pouring free rounds of tequila.

 

Tequila is a topic that Rocco takes very seriously. During a recent trip to Mexico, Rocco traveled to Guadalajara to study the agave spirit and obtained his Tequila Expert & Master Expert Catador authorized by Academia Mexicana de Catadores de Tequila A.C.

 

Born and raised in New York, Rocco grew up in the restaurant business. First, studying his grandfather’s prowess as general manager of New York City’s famed Copacabana Nightclub. In 1997, after a stint in the kitchen of his father’s Long Island restaurant he began his quest. With only $200 in his pocket, he headed south to West Palm Beach, Florida. His first break – being hired as a busboy at Big City Tavern, part of the Big Time Restaurant Group. Little did he know that this minimum wage gig would one day lead him to partnering with Big Time to open Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar.

 

Nine  years  and  countless  trips  to  Mexico  later,  the  well-­‐researched  visionary  opened  his first  restaurant,  Rocco’s  Tacos  &  Tequila  Bar,  as  co-­‐owner  and  managing  partner  with  Big Time Restaurant Group. The West Palm Beach location transformed Clematis Street almost overnight breathing new life into the community. Building off the popularity of the first restaurant, Rocco has since opened locations in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach Gardens, Orlando, Delray Beach and Brooklyn, NY. In 2018 the brand will be expanding to Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale International Airport and Tampa Bay.

 

Rocco is also a devoted father, a successful philanthroper, and earlier this year he announced that he was living with multiple sclerosis. By publicly sharing his diagnosis, Rocco hopes to let people to know that his life, and those of others with MS, can continue to thrive. Serving as a voice for MS Rocco has raised $220,000 for the National MS Society and in January 2018 he will receive the prestigious MS Society Hope Award. Prior to his work with the Society, he raised $200,000 for breast cancer research. He has also contributed time  and  money  to  the  ALS  Association,  Leukemia/Lymphoma  Society,  Toys  for  Tots,  Tri-­‐ County Humane Society, March of Dimes, Palm Beach Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, KidsSafe, and other organizations.

 

Going back to when you first started with your organization to now, what has been your proudest personal accomplishment?  MY DAUGHTER

What do you enjoy the most about your work? GETTING TO KNOW PEOPLE

Do you have a mentor; someone who has been there to guide you or consult with you when you needed their input? MY BUSINESS PARTNERS

You are out in the public arena quite often; who is the most interesting person you have ever met? MICHAEL JORDAN

What program with your organization do you get the most excited about? OPENING NEW STORES

How did you determine which charitable organizations you would support? THE ONES THAT I HAVE SOME CONNECTION TO.

Is there a charitable event(s) you really look forward to attending each year? THE MS  WALK

How have things changed for you through the years? GETTING OLDER AND WISER LEARNIG FROM MY MISTAKES.

What is your greatest strength(s) that makes you such an asset to your organization? MY PERSONALITY.

What is your greatest challenge at this time?  NEVER ENOUGH TIME IN THEM DAY.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?  A DAY WITH MY DAUGHTER

What is the most important thing you have learned through the years?  RESTRAINT TOF TONGUE AND PEN.

How do you relax? THE GYM

 Do you have a favorite vacation spot? THE CARRIBEAN

 What do you wish you could have a never-ending supply of?  NUTELLA

If you found a treasure chest – and you could keep it, what would you want to be in it? MY HEALTH

How can we reach out to other people in the world?  SOCIAL MEDIA

Is there an inspirational book you have read that you would recommend to others? THE ALCHEMIST

What can make you laugh?  MY DAUGHTER

What can make you cry? MY DAUGHTER

Are you where you hoped you would be at this point in your life? YES

What do you still hope to accomplish? HELPING FIND A CURE FOR MS

Is there a fond childhood memory you can share with us? FIXING CARS WITH MY UNCLE

When you were a little boy, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?  ASTRONAUT

What is your vision and hope for the future? WORLD PEACE

What do you think is the biggest problem we are facing in this country today?  THE PRESIDENT

How do you want to be remembered by future generations?  PAYING IT FORWARD

What do your want your epitaph to read? “JUST WHISPER MY NAME AND I WILL BE THERE

Do you have a motto, or some words of wisdom, that has guided you through your life?  LIVE EVERYDAY LIKE ITS MY LAST AND MAKE SURE IT’S NOT GOING TO BE

What word best describes your life right now?  CONTENT

What charitable organizations are you involved with at this time?  MS

If you were to write an autobiography, what would the title of it be?  FAST FORWARD

Who is your hero?  MY DAUGHTER

What is your idea of a perfect vacation? ANYWHERE ON A BEACH

What’s been the key to the success and growth of ----------? HIRING PEOPLE THAT KNOW MORE THAN ME

In order to thrive and survive in the corporate workplace, we sometimes have to desensitize ourselves in order to get ahead.  Not being real and authentic, isn’t that a big sacrifice to make?  IT WAS AT FIRST

How does one hold on to their true self in the corporate world and still become successful? NEVER FORGET WHERE YOU CAME FROM

How do you stay so motivated and committed? STRIVE TO BE BETTER THAN YESTERDAY

When does someone know when it’s time to move on? WHEN IT’S OVER

What are your favorite leisure time activities or hobbies?  GYM

What is your favorite sport? AUTO RACING