Meet Franco Porporino Jr.: entrepreneur, radio host, Hollywood executive producer and talent manager, philanthropist, and award-winning restaurateur. He may have a slew of titles and accolades, but they did not come easy to him.
Background & Early Career
A New Jersey native, Franco was raised by his grandfather and grandmother, and their old-school, traditional Italian values were instilled in him from a young age. Despite his humble beginnings, Franco never forgot the wisdom his grandparents instilled in him, and never turned his back on his traditional upbringing, even when he reached unparalleled success in his professional career.
At the age of fifteen, Franco embarked on his first job in a small Italian pizzeria in Little Falls, NJ. It was at that time where his passion for culinary arts was realized. Coupled with always watching his mother and grandmother take fresh ingredients from their garden to cook with, Franco's love for the restaurant industry was only natural. Three years later, Franco owned his first Italian restaurant with his family. He received culinary training by the highly decorated award winning chef, Michael Latour, who worked at establishments such as The Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan, The Ritz Carlton, Doral Park, and is a member of the Société Culinaire Philanthropique. He worked side by side with Michael learning French cuisine in addition to Italian. His culinary education coupled with his hard work paid off, when he received three stars from the Bergen Record when he was just eighteen years old.
When Franco was twenty-three, he decided to take a break from the hospitality industry, and made a bold move into the world of Wall Street. He entered Wall Street with no previous knowledge of the finance industry, but that did not hold him back. In a matter of twelve months, Franco was the highest producing investment advisor in his firm. He started at a boutique investment banking firm in Manhattan that only had twenty investment advisors. Several years later, Franco was responsible for the unprecedented growth of the firm with independent offices, both international and domestic, with over 400 investment advisors, and he owned the largest franchise office of a publicly traded investment banking firm in Midtown Manhattan. Franco's success was so large, that he outgrew the firm he began with, due to his large institutional accounts from Lima, Peru. Despite his Wall Street success, he never lost touch with his passion for culinary and hospitality industries.
During his time in Manhattan, Franco was one of the first hosts to start the very popular Socialite Brunch Parties. Gaining such a strong following, he was then recruited to host at the most exclusive, by invite-only door in the city, Cipriani's Private Club in Soho. He also hosted the elite Yacht Week that sails from Croatia. In addition to Cipriani, Franco hosted a slew of other VIP venues, such as Bagatelle, LAVO, and exclusive nightlife hubs in the Hamptons. In 2010, after 20 years on Wall Street, Franco decided that it was time to embark on other business ventures.
Franco has many passions and talents, however, his philanthropic work is one that he holds close to his heart. In 2015, Franco received the Tiffany Award for his work in mentoring the young adolescents at The Integrity House in Newark, New Jersey. This rehab facility is the very same facility that former President Barack Obama visited in 2016. Franco was also honored with the prestigious "Young Italian Entrepreneur" award from the Italian Tribune in 2015. Franco also hosts the Annual Mille Miglia Police Escorted Exotic Car Rally, which is in its sixth year. Each year, Franco chooses a charity to support, and hosts live and silent auctions at the event to raise funds. The event is inclusive of a celebrity red carpet, press and media coverage, and people from all over the Tri-State Area who come to admire the cars and also support the charities. This year, on May 19th, 2019, Franco and the Mille Miglia Car Club hosted their most successful rally to date, raising funds for the Wounded Warrior Project. With over 3,000 people in attendance to Church Street, which was lined with over $60 Million in Lamborghini's, Ferrari's, and other exotic cars, Franco's vision for helping those in need continues to grow.
All handmade, all the time.
At Fresco Da Franco, our secret ingredient is not a spice or an herb, but rather it is Mamma Giuseppina, owner Franco Porporino’s mother. Mamma Giuseppina, who hails from Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, is the inspiration behind the name Fresco, meaning “fresh” in Italian. Growing up, Franco watched his mother gather fresh ingredients and herbs from her backyard garden to create mouth-wateringly delicious meals. Franco always had a taste for the freshest, most authentic ingredients due to Mamma Giuseppina’s cooking.
Today, Mamma Giuseppina plays a large role in the cuisine at Fresco Da Franco. From her hand rolled meatballs to homemade pasta, Mamma Giuseppina creates the most authentic meals that will make you feel right at home. At Fresco, Franco stays true to his roots in using the freshest ingredients and Mamma Giuseppina’s philosophy of creating handmade dishes.
“What do Teresa Giudice, Jonathan Cheban, and Angela “Big And” Raiola have in common? They all love Fresco in Montclair, N.J.!”
“There’s a sense of excitement at Fresco, a restaurant where the food doesn’t play second fiddle to the atmosphere.”
Try this Mamma Giuseppina Famous Meatball Recipe featured on ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’
“Get ready to eat like a real housewife! Franco Porporino Jr., owner of Fresco Da Franco, has shared the recipe with Us Weekly for the restaurant’s Mamma Giuseppina Famous Meatballs.”
Social Lifestyle Mag
Fresco Da Franco Awarded the 5 Star Diamond Award
“Fresco is a dining experience sure to have you raving about. Serving authentic traditional Italian cuisine with a fashionable twist and exploring new ways to create palate-pleasing dishes are what make Fresco a favorite in Montclair and the Sunday Brunches are a sought after must.”
‘Boys of Bate’ to benefit the Integrity House
“Franco Porporino Jr. is supporting a great cause with the upcoming movie premiere of Boys of Bate.”