‘Long Island is home to the best bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches, so that became my niche.’
“I walked away from my union job, and I haven’t looked back since. Everybody knows me as ‘Big Red.’ I weigh about 400 pounds, and back in college, I had long, red hair, so that’s how the name came about. I even have it tattooed on my body. The name has stuck since, and I created some skits on YouTube. I called it ‘The Big Red Show,’ and the skits were just about my life and the outrageous tasks I do daily.
“My younger brother and I started a podcast called ‘Red Hair Don’t Care.’ One day, we were jokingly arguing about something related to food. He’s the skinny version of me. He’s about 100 pounds soaking wet, and he was trying to tell me he knew food better than I did. I turned to look at him and I said, ‘Trust me, I’m fat.’ A light bulb went off, and that became the name of my food reviews and overall brand.
I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing right now. This is the best life I could be living.
“Long Island is home to the best bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches, so that became my niche. I try to fly under the radar — which is pretty hard, looking at me — but I visit local delis and review their bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches. I just set up my camera in my pickup truck and record my review.
“Aside from ‘Trust Me, I’m Fat,’ I’m also an entrepreneur. I co-own Dolce Bella, a luxury Italian ice brand. While working in security, I met one of my friends and now business partner, Brandyn. He started this business as an Italian ice cart and wanted me as a partner to help expand it. With the help of social media and the Long Island community, our business has grown tremendously, and we’ve even done private parties and weddings. We’re looking to expand into a storefront.
“We’ve spent the last six months together for 14- to 18-hour days, but it’s been great working with a friend. We can be really honest and bounce ideas off each other. Owning a business has its highs and lows. It’s a huge financial burden, and it takes a lot more to get started than most think. I’ve had maybe three days off this entire year, but watching our business grow makes it worth it.
“Being an entrepreneur was always in the back of my mind. I knew I wanted to be my own boss. I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing right now. This is the best life I could be living.”