SELF MADE STRATEGIES EPISODE 056 WITH TONY LUKE, JR.
(NOTE: Listener Discretion is Advised - This Episode Contains Adult Content and Subject Matter That May Be Difficult to Listen to. We chose to maintain the integrity of Tony's message by minimally editing this episode, so use your discretion when listening. We hope you enjoy it!)
Anthony Lucidonio, Jr., better known as Tony Luke, Jr., is an American entrepreneur, restaurateur, actor, TV personality (way back on Prism), musician, media host and (NOW) an anti-addiction-stigma activist. Tony co-founded the cheesesteak and sandwich franchise Tony Luke's.
In the early 1990s Luke, his brother, Nicky, and their father bought a property near the expressway in South Philadelphia, where no one (at the time) wanted to build anything in that area, to open a small sandwich shop. To compete with other local businesses, the original Tony Luke's stand offered a more diversified menu, initially offering roast pork sandwiches, hoagies and other fare. Originally, there were no cheesesteaks, but as always Tony Luke gave the people what they wanted (eventually adding cheesesteaks to the menu). Soon thereafter, PhillyMag ranked Tony Luke’s as BOTH the best Roast Pork sandwich AND the best Cheesesteak in Philly. That doubled their business almost overnight and led to Tony Luke taking over the store's marketing.
Eventually, the business grew to include several locations in the Philadelphia area and a line of frozen sandwiches. Through a partnership with Rastelli Foods Group, the business now has several franchised locations worldwide, including in Bahrain.
Tony Luke’s would turn into a household name, and Tony Luke Jr would become the face of the franchise: starring in TV and radio commercials, facing off with Bobby Flay in a “Throwdown,” and even getting his own show on Spike TV (“Frankenfood”).
But, before his father even had the thought to build a sandwich shop, Tony Luke Jr had already lived multiple lives: from being a rough-and-tumble South Philly kid, to a budding Hollywood movie star in LA, to scoring a record deal as the crooner of an R&B band.
Tony Luke was born in South Philly and attended the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts in its first year (Tony was an “original”). Tony Luke credits CAPA as having saved his life. During his time at CAPA, Tony hustled his way into a cast party for Rocky II (in Philly).
Using methamphetamine and other drugs as a teenager, Tony Luke now uses that experience, as well as the fighting and hustling of his youth, to explain to kids that difficulties can be overcome.
On today’s episode we will:
• Get to know Tony and hear his amazing story
• We will discuss Tony Luke's strategies for maintaining your edge
• Discuss the benefits of collaborating to make magic happen
What you will hear on this episode:
• Why Tony believes that his gut leads him where he needs to be
• How every day in life, Tony tries to strengthen his weaknesses and tries every day in his life to share his strengths with other people to help their weaknesses become stronger (and why you should do the same)
• Why ego can never be a part of growth
• How Tony Luke, Jr., along with his father and brother, literally built Tony Luke's
• Why strategic marketing initiatives were at the core of making "Tony Luke" into a household name
• How a Heroin overdose brought Tony Luke to collaborate with several musicians to raise mental health and addiction stigma awareness
• Information about the Sound Mind Network, and what their initiatives are
• How Tony Luke deals with competitors
• And so much more!
This Self Made Strategies Podcast is a SoftStix Productions LLC jawn. This episode was produced, edited, and hosted by Tony Lopes, on location in Philadelphia. The Self Made Strategies Podcast is sponsored by Lopes Law LLC (www.LopesLawLLC.com
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