Bellas may still bear the family name, but the Bellas have definitely left the building.
Father founder John is happy in his retirement, hanging out with the kids and catching up on life outside of the daily grind of the diner business, also known as “relaxing,” said his son, Dean, who is not relaxing but working full-time on his own business.
Dean is repping the code, selling t-shirts with customizable area codes. It all of course started with 914 and a request from a Bellas customer. From there he made some shirts for his friends and sold a few at the Tarrytown 7-Eleven. In April, 2011, the official “Rep The Code” company was born.
The shirts can be found online (repthecode.com) and some area stores, such as in the Galleria Mall in White Plains, with more to come. He will stock certain area codes and as revenue grows he'll expand into other areas. Don’t see your area code? Tweet your request to #INeedtoRep. Once Dean receives a bunch of mentions for an area, he’ll get them represented. Though, Dean said, he personally is "always repping 914.”
Shirts costs $24.95, hats $34.95; all produced in the USA. Every week he'll release a special edition shirt like the Boston 617 in Fenway Park colors. Dean recently created shirts for the swag bags of the Video Music Awards which got him some nice "most coveted brand" status in an Entertainment Weekly article.
Dean's service industry experience translates well into entrepeneurship. “I like to think I’m a good salesman," Dean said. "I was raised in the service industry. I like to give a nice bacon, egg and cheese and I like to make people happy with a good shirt.”
Is father John disappointed that his son didn’t take over the family diner? “He wanted me to do whatever made me happy," Dean said. "Follow my dream."