Grand Rapids Informed Podcast: Featuring Dan Uccello

In a recent podcast episode, the host sat down with Dan Uccello, a prominent figure associated with Flo’s Restaurant Group in Grand Rapids. Besides being a restaurateur, Dan is also an investor, a hard money lender, and has a keen interest in real estate. The conversation commenced with a warm welcome for Dan, followed by inquiries about his recent ventures.

Dan shared that their restaurant business remains a significant source of their income, with five distinct locations spread across Grand Rapids. Additionally, they operate a full-service catering company and have ventured into real estate investing and hard money lending, catering specifically to real estate investors.

The discussion then navigated towards the specifics of their restaurant ventures, operating under two main banners – Flo’s Restaurant and Franco’s. Under Flo’s, they have a variety of offerings including Flo Pizzeria, Flo Sports Bar, and Flo’s Wood Fired, each with its unique ambiance and menu. On the other hand, Franco’s Pizzeria stands as a tribute to Dan’s mother, adding a personal touch to their business empire. The name ‘Flo’s’ originated from ‘Florentines’, which was creatively shortened to carve out a unique brand identity.

Dan’s journey in the culinary world began at a tender age of 12, working alongside his parents. He reminisced about the strong work ethic his parents instilled in him – a value he didn’t appreciate much back then, but holds in high regard now. This ethos of hard work and humility is something he is keen on passing down to his children.

Born and raised in Sicily, Dan’s life took a turn when his family moved to the US when he was 12. They transitioned from the car business to the restaurant industry, primarily due to language barriers. Dan, a proud alumnus of Northview High School, shared how the Plainfield Township area has always felt like home.

Discussing his independent venture into the restaurant business, Dan reflected on his ambition to be self-sufficient. Convincing his father to let him open a full-service restaurant was a milestone, which eventually materialized with a condition – partnering with his brother. This partnership proved to be complementary, as his brother pursued formal education while Dan honed his practical skills in the restaurant realm.

Dan holds his parents in high esteem, crediting them as significant motivators and mentors. They taught him and his brother the essence of responsibility from a young age, allowing them the liberty to make decisions and learn from them.

Dan Uccello’s narrative is a stirring tale of passion, family, and entrepreneurial spirit. His journey from the shores of Sicily to the bustling business scene of Grand Rapids is not just inspiring but also a testament to the power of hard work, family support, and the courage to follow one’s entrepreneurial dreams. Through the ups and downs, Dan’s story exemplifies that with the right mix of perseverance and support, achieving one’s dreams is within arm’s reach.

Check out the full podcast down below!