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40 Under 40 - Class of 2021
Business Observer Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021 1 month ago

William Diaz-Garcia II, 35

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Narrative Coffee Roasters, co-owner
by: Beth Luberecki Contributor

Attorney William Diaz-Garcia II became co-owner of Narrative Coffee Roasters by knowing how to go after an opportunity. When a prime space in Naples’ Mercato shopping center opened up, Diaz-Garcia approached Narrative founder Caleb MacPherson about partnering on the company’s first brick-and-mortar location. Despite heavy competition from national coffee chains, the local roaster landed the space, in part due to Diaz-Garcia’s legal and real estate expertise.

Diaz-Garcia comes from a coffee family (his grandfather once owned a coffee company in Miami), and he’s long dreamed of getting back into the family business. But he says he wouldn’t be where he is today without the guidance of mentor Carlo Zampogna, another Southwest Florida attorney.

“I have had every question under the sun for him,” says Diaz-Garcia. “He’s a very kind individual.”

Over the course of their relationship, Diaz-Garcia has learned things like the importance of always knowing your value. “It’s very easy, especially in the business arena, to lose sight of what you’re bringing to the table, and for someone else to think they can bring the same thing to the table,” he says. “So you never want to lose sight of what it is you’re able to bring, and you want to continue to do so and be able to do so well.”

Zampogna also reinforced for Diaz-Garcia the power of kindness and sincerity. “The general thinking is you have to step on toes to climb any sort of business ladder, and I don’t believe that’s the case,” says Diaz-Garcia. “I’ve seen it with someone like him; it’s never been at someone else’s expense. The opportunities that have come to him have been because he’s been so helpful and kind.”

Diaz-Garcia hopes to be that kind of mentor one day, and he’s already laying the groundwork with Narrative Coffee Roasters’ employees, who are given free rein to create their ideal positions. “We have never said no to a team member when they say ‘can I do this and this with a little bit of that,’” he says. “You’ve got to want it; that’s sort of the biggest thing.”

People tell Diaz-Garcia that he and MacPherson are lucky Narrative is doing so well. (It now has two locations, with more coming.) But Diaz-Garcia says preparation is what allows you to achieve success — and be positioned to be lucky. “We jumped on the opportunity with very heightened levels of awareness in what we were doing,” he says. “It was a calculated risk.”

Name: William Diaz-Garcia II   Age: 35   City of Residence: Naples   Employer: DG Law, Narrative Coffee Roasters, Ayra Real Estate   Birthplace: Tampa, Florida   Years in the area: 12   Marital Status/Children: Married with 2 beautiful children   Alma Mater/Degree: Ave Maria School of Law (JD - law degree)   What community group or organization are you most involved with? Florida Pro Bono Legal Service Providers   What's the weirdest job you've ever had? Bread delivery man   What's your top tip for being productive? Wake up early and do something for yourself, whether it be working out, praying, or just enjoying the stillness of an early morning. It allows you the time to think through and map out your day, which in turn allows a more focused and productive day.   If you could have a side hustle, what would it be? My side hustle is technically coffee and real estate, but if I could have another it would be owning a Cuban sandwich food truck.   What's your favorite off-hours activity? Movies with my family, popcorn and all.   Have you gone to the movies in 2021? If yes, what did you see? Yes. A Quiet Place 2.   What's the top item on your bucket list? To visit Cuba with my family.   What's your favorite podcast? The Ben Shapiro Show   Where is your happy place? On a quiet beach.   Describe yourself in three words: Man for others.   Who is your mentor for your career and why? Carlo Zampogna. He showed me that being an attorney can open many doors and allow you to be your own boss.   What are the biggest lessons you have learned from your mentor? One of the biggest lessons that Carlo has taught me is to always come to a situation from a position of kindness and sincerity. You catch more bees with honey. He has also taught me to maintain and protect your value in every situation, especially when presented with business ventures and opportunities.

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