9/11 Ten Years Later: Turn Tragedy Into Opportunity – Food Up!

Joe Ariel, “Facebook for Foodies”
Joe, founder of Eats.com which was sold to Delivery.com in 2009 writes: “Back in 2001, I worked for CIBC Oppenheimer in One World Financial Center, directly across the street from the WTC.  I was one of those guys blinded by the cloud of soot and smoke.  I thought I was going to die that day.  I was a 25 year old finance guy at CIBC Oppenheimer.  I went through a severe six month depression where I would rarely get out of bed, I realized after the experience that life was too short to not do something I love and create something that belongs to me.

In 2002, I combined my love for food with my passion of becoming an entrepreneur.  I created Eats magazine (and eventually Eats.com), a restaurant menu guide that compiled dozens of the best takeout menus for each neighborhood in Manhattan.  Over the next 5 years the company grew to more than 25 employees and 3 cities.  The New York Times called Eats.com “The Facebook for Foodies.”

Two years ago my story took an interesting turn.  My company was acquired by Delivery.com whose lead investor was Cantor Fitzgerald (the financial firm that lost 658 employees in 9/11).   They wanted to bolster their Delivery.com business division that focuses on local online ordering.   As part of the acquisition, I was brought on as the CEO of the joint business from 2009-2010.

Today, although still a shareholder, I am no longer involved in the day-to-day operations.”
Joe has definitely turned a passion into a fortune by doing what he loves to do.
www.joeariel.com

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