While Joseph was on the gregarious side, he describes his older brother as more of a ‘cerebral’ type, who wanted to drop out of high school because he found it boring. “My dad was fine with it as long as he learned to act responsibly by coming to work for our company," Joseph says.
p.s. Joseph’s older brother decided business wasn’t for him, got his GED and ultimately decided on a career in social work. “He’s now near the top of his profession,” says Joseph, practically beaming with pride over the cellular airwaves.
Although they have taken very different paths in life, the Semprevivo siblings are bound together by their desire to help others, Joseph says.
In fact, he says, one of his most gratifying activities is walking into Dollar Stores and seeing how thrilled people living on monthly Social Security checks of $900 become when when they spot bags of his cookies.
“My mom and dad were disruptors and innovators,” Joseph says. He describes his dad as a self-taught “food scientist” who read a lot of scientific journals and early on recognized that a sugar substitute mainly used by producers could be beneficial for consumers, too.
(I tested Joseph’s Lite pecan shortbread cookies and agree--they tasted great, were filling and left no weight gain, smelly farts or bitter aftertaste.)
Then there’s this:
When his parents moved the family from New Jersey to a small town in New Mexico, Joseph says his older brother and sister were subjected to prejudice toward Italian Americans and people from the East coast.
“My mom advised them to ignore the mean things other kids were saying and to just be themselves,” Joseph says. “She told them that everyone would come to love them, and if not, it was going to be their classmates’ loss.”
Joseph says practically none of his teachers had heard of diabetes when he was diagnosed with it as a child back in the eighties, and that his parents worked very hard to educate them about the illness.
“I learned to make diabetes fun,” says Joseph. “By the time I was in high school, I felt comfortable using my insulin needles and blood sugar testing instruments to class.”
Joseph probably wouldn’t deny that he does get some pleasure out of driving his luxury sports coupe.
But he has no ambitions of owning a multi-level garage full of them, or even expanding the number of employees at his corporate headquarters to more than the five presently there. “I want people to feel like they are part of the family and not just numbers,” he says.
A Sherman Colins Dream Lifestyle attitude if ever there was one.
So, thanks, Semprevivios, for overcoming financial hardship with emotional riches and becominga model Sherman Colins Lifestyle family.