In 1989, at the young age of 24, Tom founded The Estate at Florentine Gardens. Through years of hard work and commitment, Tom grew a small catering operation into one of New Jersey’s premier “one wedding at a time” banquet facilities.
Tom’s entrepreneurial spirit and eminent work ethics have assisted in the success of the Florentine Gardens. Through implementation and standardization of policies, procedures, quality of food and service, Tom has transformed the typical “mom and pop” catering operation into a corporately structured facility.
In 1997, Tom co-founded Florentine Gardens Corporate Dining/In Thyme Catered Events, a subsidiary corporate foodservice company and high-end off-premise caterer. With the same successful business philosophies, Tom grew In Thyme into one of the area’s finest and well-known catering companies.
Tom has set the foundation for a successful business through leadership and mentoring. Tom has assembled one of the most qualified industry management teams, which includes his three children, Maria, Amanda, and Ciro. Florentine Garden’s is a true family owned and operated business for over 3 decades that will continue to be committed to our clients.
Maria welcomes you to take a step into her world, where childhood memories, life lessons, and business experience have led her to her passion – planning and creating beautiful weddings!
Years of mentoring from her father inspired her at a young age to one day have clients of her own. As a result, Maria knew that she wanted to study Business Management and gain an expertise to carry with her throughout her career. Maria takes great pride in the relationships that she has built over the years and caters to each of her clients needs both thoughtfully and wholeheartedly.
For Maria, the heart of the family has always been at the dinner table, surrounded by good food, drinks, music, laughter, and conversation. She considers these as the critical ingredients in the recipe for a good time! Maria has celebrated many important milestones in her life at Florentine Gardens, and to help create those memories for others is her ultimate ambition.
Growing up in the world of catering, Amanda found her love for culinary and design at a very early age. She quickly realized that any excuse to throw a party, is always a good excuse!
Amanda studied food and beverage management at Johnson and Wales University, and found her passion in helping people to bring their ideas to life; she hopes to create an experience for her clients that exceed their expectations through her creativity and attention to detail.
Amanda has celebrated every major life milestone at The Estate at Florentine Gardens, from her First Birthday, to her Wedding, and everything in between. She takes great pride in what she does and treats every event as one of her own. In her free time, Amanda loves Champagne, Nutella, and catching up on HGTV.
Growing up in the catering business has profoundly shaped Ciro into who he is today. Since the age of 13, Ciro has worked in various food and beverage settings and has slowly climbed through the ranks.
From washing dishes to serving tables a la carte in NYC, and currently overseeing events at the Estate; Ciro has consistently performed these services with passion. His love for dynamic catering stems from witnessing client satisfaction.
Denise Downing has been planning events her entire life. From childhood tea parties to college sorority formals, Denise was always the one in charge of all the plans. Denise’s passion for events has allowed her to make a career out of doing what she loves — and everyone knows that Denise loves a great party!! Denise considers herself blessed to spend every day at The Estate, working with the best team in the wedding industry and of course, all her amazing clients. She can’t wait to meet you and add you to the amazing family here at The Estate at Florentine Gardens.
Jason Gentile found his passion for the industry back in 2000 when having to plan his parents 25th Wedding Anniversary. This was his stepping-stone into the catering world. Jason has worked in various locations, both exclusive wedding facilities and a la carte restaurants all around North Jersey. He has a variety of Front of the House experience from starting as Banquet Server, to a Floor Captain to now a Dining Room Maître ‘D and Event Consultant. Jason says “The foundation to successfully planning an event is having someone like me, working for you!” Contact Jason for a private tour and let him show you why we are the best in the industry.
Samantha joined The Estate during her senior year of college at Montclair State University where she majored in Event Marketing. She officially joined the FlorenTeam as a Junior Event Consultant after her graduation in May 2019. Samantha found her passion for event planning during her high school job coordinating children’s birthday parties. She assists every event consultant in ensuring that all of our events here at The Estate run smoothly.
Jamie Milkman has been a chef and owner of fine dining restaurants in New Jersey since 1983. He has proudly earned four stars from the Bergen Record and an excellent from The New York Times at his namesake restaurant Jamie’s in Englewood Cliffs. He later opened the highly regarded 90 Grand Grille in Englewood. Since August of 2007 he has hung his chef toque at The Estate at Florentine Gardens where he has brought his a la carte dining experience to couples throughout the Tri-State area.
Jeffrey is a third generation caterer and has been involved in catering since the young age of eight when his father put him to work. As Jeffery would say, “It runs in the family!”
What fuels Jeffrey to succeed in this profession is witnessing the happiness of our clients on one of the most important days and moments of their lives. He has been at The Estate since 2007 as head Maître D’. Jeffrey cares about each event as if it were his own. Being in catering is not only what he does, but more importantly, it is his true passion.
Rosemarie was the controller at Kasper Inc. in Mahwah , a private label cosmetic company for 20 years. After gaining over 25 years of accounting experience in various industries, Ro decided to join the Daidone family at The Estate at Florentine Gardens where she has been since May of 2004.