Posted on April 15 2018
Roberto Chiappelloni is the owner of Manfredi Jewels in Greenwich, CT, in business for over 30 years. Mandfredi is home to some of the rarest time pieces from around the world, attracting customers from every corner of the world. It is the stamp of approval for a rare watch company to be sold in Manfredi Jewels.
Roberto grew up on a farm in Piacenza, Italy where he learned the Italian passion for watches, and fine mechanical works of art. Growing up he witnessed from his grandfather and father that watches were pieces to take great pride in. At school in Geneva, Switzerland he learned the history of watches and what watching making was all about.
But interestingly, his first business was not Manfredi Jewels but rather a restaurant in Queens, NY, known as Alberto; still in business today. Roberto opened his restaurant in Queens while working as a waiter for another restaurant, in order to pay his bills. It was a struggle for him at first, as he was pricing his dishes too low. It was not until his Attorney suggested he raise his prices that Roberto found success with his restaurant; which his sister now runs.
Manfredi Jewels happened rather accidentally, as it was two clients of his at his restaurant that inspired him. The clients owned a pawn shop and had been buying mechanical watches that were no longer in favor at the time. Roberto then began collecting mechanical watches himself and when they became back in style he decided to open a store.
“Mandfredi” is not his name, but the name of a small franchise based in Italy. The franchise belonged to a friend of his, whom he grew up with in northern Italy. When it came time for Roberto to expand his business past vintage watches he acquired the franchise which gave him the instant credibility to acquire sought after brands.
For a time, there were many Manfredi stores around the world... several locations in Rome and Milan and even Madison Avenue in NY, but Roberto says now the franchise has shrunk to just a couple of stores.
Continue listening for more on the story of Roberto and Manfredi Jewels...
"If you do something you have passion for, life is easy." - Roberto Chiappelloni
Visit Roberto's restaurant, Alberto, open only at night, at 98-31 Metropolitan Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375. Visit his jewelry store, Manfredi Jewels, at 121 Greenwich Ave, Greenwich, CT 06830.