When did you think of the idea to create Winfield? How did it begin?

I immigrated to the US when I was 18 and got a job washing dishes at a legendary pizza joint in Greenwich CT. The owner’s brother owned this empty mansion nearby and he let me sleep there – just me and a mattress in this giant house. I worked from 9 am to 11 pm every day. The job and the restaurant business fascinated me. I worked from sunup to sundown and couldn’t get enough of it. I fell in love with the American culture, I found a family within my pizza family – we took care of each other. I learned to prep chicken, meatballs, sauce, pizza dough and graduated to prep cook. . Watching these hard-working immigrants, both the owners and staff, shaped my work ethic and who I am today. We, as a team, truly wanted to give it all to this pizza joint and its customers. One of my fondest memories, which still comes to my mind every time I am frustrated with unfinished work, is of the owner telling me to go home “It is ok, Breno, tomorrow is a brand-new day”. That image helps me get at ease when I am overwhelmed and think I am not able.

Winfield wasn’t yet a thought back then, but I certainly already knew, as I was washing a pile of dishes at this hole-in-the-wall bewildering pizza joint, that counted as regulars Brendan Frasier, Anthony Hopkins, and multiple other actors and CEOs, that I was going to own my own food business in this country. 

After five years married, my wife got pregnant, and I knew the experimentation timing was up. I had worked enough, saved enough, learned enough, failed enough… well, it turns out I hadn’t failed or learned enough yet, but I thought it was time to strike on my own. 

“The job and the restaurant business fascinated me. I worked from sunup to sundown and couldn’t get enough of it. I fell in love with the American culture”

— Breno Donatti

What is the origin of the name?

Winfield Delicatessen was there… in its fourth owner since 1925, the current operator had had enough of the business and wanted to sell it. This neighborhood deli was nested in East Norwalk, on Winfield Street, and was very low-key, but with a steady stream of regular customers and a great reputation… perfect for an ambitious young new father that wanted to spend evenings with the young family. It needed a fresh coat of paint, some love, and affection, but the bones were good and it allowed me an income to support my family. It was September 13, 2015, 33 days after my wife gave birth to my first son, that I sold my first subs at the original Winfield Street Deli.

What is the main message surrounding Winfield, what is the goal?

“Serving coffee is exciting, but it is a very innate human characteristic to strive for more. And I knew that our “more”, as a company, would be to reach out to our local communities and integrate people that perhaps didn’t have other opportunities. We use our resources to donate meals to local shelters, and we open our space to artists, creatives and entrepreneurs to showcase their art or business. This is part of what Winfield is. ”

— Breno Donatti