The aroma of boliche y arroz con pollo brings back wonderful memories of the delicious food David Ossorio’s abuela cooked in her tiny kitchen in Miami. Maybe that’s why Avon resident Ossorio, who is Hispanic, dedicated himself to 25 years of service in the food-hospitality industry.
Combining his love of food and technical know-how, passed on by his father, Ossorio launched a unique business—Tie Food—for which he manufactures, distributes and sells small fork and spoon tie clips.
Restaurant patrons at Max Downtown in Hartford, Abigail’s in Simsbury, and Plaza Azteca and Market Grille in Manchester may have noticed servers wearing Ossorio’s unique tie clips.
Ossorio was working as a manager at Max a Mia restaurant in Avon when he started decorating his own ties with clips made of baby spoons he found while antiquing in Vermont. After customers complimented him on the clips and asked where he got them, he thought, “I may have found something here,” Ossorio recalled in an interview with CTLatinoNews.com.
In 2011, he left the restaurant business and began fabricating and marketing tie clips to area restaurants where waiters’ dress codes includes ties. Almost three years later, his business is booming.
Ossorio buys stainless steel materials from wholesale flatwork companies. At his home studio in Avon, he manufactures the tie clips for sale by bending the fork or spoon so they clip around the tie.
So, who are his customers? “I knock on restaurant doors,” said Ossorio, 59. “I even go to New York City restaurants, and search for places where the wait staff is dressed in shirts and ties.”
But he also has been very successful selling retail on his company’s website, www.tie-food.com. He has sold to businesses across the U.S. and in places as far away as New Zealand, Holland and Singapore.
Closer to home, his custom tie clips are presented to servers marking a milestone at the Max Downtown restaurant—a stainless steel fork tie clip for servers who have worked at the Hartford restaurant for one year; a gold-plated fork tie clip to mark five years of service.
At Market Grille in Manchester, manager Katie Powell said customers always compliment the wait staff on the fork tie clips. These clips match the fork in the restaurant’s logo, she added.
Ossorio indicated he sells more fork tie clips than spoon clips, but his pebble spoon tie clips sold on his website are very popular. He’s also expanded into women’s jewelry–selling necklaces made of beads and sterling forks.
“Women’s pendants, necklaces and earrings have become a second business for me,” Ossorio noted.
Raised in a traditional Hispanic home, Ossorio’s father was born in Cuba and his mother in Key West, Florida. (“By way of Spain,” he added.) His siblings were raised in Miami, but as a youth, Ossorio moved around the U.S. as his father was transferred in his engineering job from Vermont to Puerto Rico, to Plainville, Connecticut and finally to Massachusetts. He attended college at Jacksonville University in Florida and then spent many years back in Connecticut working as a golf pro at area golf clubs.
Eventually, he entered the restaurant business. Now Tie Food is his passion. Ossorio said he is always thinking of new ideas, such as the fork “check presenter” that keeps the restaurant bill in place on a stand presented to the customer.
“The concept is ‘Fork it Over,’ laughed Ossorio.
For more information, including prices of custom items, visit www.tie-food.com. Tie Food is also on Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.