Fran Camosse doesn’t do things the traditional way. The Massachusetts-born entrepreneur started working at his family’s masonry supply company. After a couple of years, he became a youth pastor – then decided to walk across the United States – from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean, all before becoming part owner of 3rd Planet Brewing in Niceville.
Mid Bay News Partner, the PAVE Podcast’s host Brian Scheifer, interviewed Camosse about his life, owning a brewery, and more.
Part one – about Fran’s walk across America – is out now. The second part, about his entrepreneurial journey with 3rd Planet Brewing, will drop soon.
We’ve attached the video version of part one of the podcast and pulled some of the most exciting parts of the conversation for you.
Francis Camosse’s family serves as an example of the American dream.
“So my great grandfather came over 1910 from Italy, from Sicily,” Camosse said, “And he and my grandfather opened up a grocery store. My great-grandfather asked my grandfather, ‘do you want to continue with this grocery store or do you want to manufacture concrete block?’ and my grandfather was like, ‘I want to manufacture concrete block.’ So, they started from the ground up, they had one forklift, they had the first machine to manufacture concrete block [in Western Massachusetts]. And they did that.”
But, as times changed, the family has continued to adapt. “It’s still going on today. [The business] stopped the manufacturing process.” The family realized they were spending way more money than they were able to recoup in the creation of the masonry – and decided to give up that piece of the business to focus on the landscaping side.”
At least Fran has been a part of the business since he was in middle school. “I remember waking up my father would wake me up when I was 1213 years old at five in the morning because he would go to work early, stay late and fall asleep in the backseat on the 20 minute drive to Worcester and go to work.” Camosse learned how to run a business, from licking stamps for the envelopes to sending out invoices to driving a forklift. ” I learned how to drive a forklift before I learned how to drive a car. I remember crashing one,” Camosse said with a laugh, “It was inevitable! I have two older brothers, I think we all did it.”
Once he was out of college, he found himself working for the church and skating. An opportunity to take foreigners on road trips through America called “Trek America” fell through, but he still had a desire to travel America. That’s when he decided to leave home to the Pacific coast and walk back home. His family was skeptical until he decided to buy the ticket and actually do it.
After some (very) light training, Camosse boarded a plane to the west coast and began to walk back to his home state of Massachusetts. “The shock of getting in a plane and flying for six hours and being like, ‘I gotta walk back.’ You’re looking down [out of the plane] and being like ‘is this a good idea?'” He posted his adventure, day by day, on a website to document his progress. “I need to write a book about the greatness of the peopel that I met,” Camosse added, “it was fantastic. Not that I had lost faith in humanity by any stretch of the imagination, but it just showed me how good people can be.”
Camosse still talks to many of the people he met along the road from Oregon to Boston.
If you want to hear about Camosse’s part in 3rd Planet Brewing, subscribe to the PAVE Podcast wherever you get your podcasts!
Special Note: Brian Schleifer, an Air Force Veteran, MBA, and Foster-to-Adopt parent, and Niceville Resident, hosts the PAVE (People Adding Value Experience) Podcast. You can download the podcast here.
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