I would call it an organized mess. I grew up idolizing what is known as ‘the shop’. It all started back in 1956 when my grandparents immigrated to Canada from Molise, Italy to start a new life. My grandfather Francesco teamed up with two friends to start what’s known today as FTN (Frank, Tony & Nick) Laminating located in Mississauga, Ontario. After my grandfather passed in 2002, my dad took over FTN to continue his legacy.
Normally, my dad leaves the house at 6 am and doesn’t return till 6 pm. Working a 12-hour day at minimum, my dad taught me work ethic. He still wears the same ‘work’ clothes he did twenty years ago. The factory always looked way bigger as a child. I remember going there as a kid on a Saturday when my mum had to work. My sisters and I would mess about, and be covered in dust after ten minutes. When the pandemic hit, he went from working 80 hours seven days a week to none. He was forced to close the factory in a matter of days, as it was considered non-essential.