Dominic Bruzzese: Foodscaper Spotlight

business entrepreneur featured foodscaper resiliency Jun 06, 2024

Dominic Bruzzese 

Tomorrow's Homestead LLC

What influences from your childhood or young adulthood led you to this profession?

Seeing how food defines/informs/creates but also shares/conveys/explains culture. Food is really a fundamental aspect of our humanity, and how it relates to us and how we use it to relate to each other is an expression of love and connectedness.

Did you have a career before foodscaping?  If so, what?

I have a Master's degree in Materials Science and Engineering, with a concentration in Photonics and Electronics. I have worked as a process engineer, manufacturing engineer, mechanical engineer, and systems integration engineer. Mostly designing and building equipment (mechanical and electrical) for the semiconductor technology industry. I also had a stint in the operations world, as an operations manager and then as a plant manager. I have seen a little bit of a lot of things and fell well positioned to build a strong (small and mighty) company doing this work!

How did you learn about foodscaping?

Self-taught. Simultaneously reading, online classes, and hands in the dirt (experimenting). Maintaining curiosity and interest helps accelerate the learning curve.

What was the turning point that led you down the road to make this your career?

The realization that the only way we have a chance at surviving as a species, is if we all get our heads out of our own self-absorbed lives, get off our screens, and start living life in the flesh. To me that happens fully when we start working together to build community and strengthen our selves and each other. I think this type of work is "Boots on the ground" and there's not a 'mass-market' approach to it - it will take different forms (school, barbershop, church, etc) but the way I know how to connect to people (and connect people) is through FOOD.

Name a couple of challenges that you face on the job.

#1 Getting new business #2 Pricing jobs I've never done before #3 Articulating ideas/designs to customers #4 Balancing administrative work with work that is more directly tied to generating revenue

Share a small moment in your job when you glimpsed the impact you are making.

My colleague and I were making some ferrocement beds in a customer's front yard - it was a dense suburban town, and all the while we worked, neighbors were taking walks, and passing by our job site. So many people stopped to talk, all sharing wonderful stories, conversation, and observations. It was a very real manifestation of what we're hoping to create (building community). It felt like the space in our customer's front yard was becoming a part of the community.

What is your superpower or area of expertise as a foodscaper?

soil biology, apiculture are two areas of expertise 

What are the most joyful parts of your job?

Creating - taking something that's meaningful (From a conversation with the customer, or an observation in their home) and designing for them, and creating something that is uniquely theirs, that will (possibly) transform them and their family and their community.

What’s next?  Name a personal or professional goal(s) that you’re working on this year.


What would you say to someone considering a career in foodscaping?

I would not be able to do this work without my supportive wife. She works a (boring) steady W-2 job that basically covers our living expenses. We have 2 kids, and I run them around, and clean the house (and run the business)... So while i'm in 'startup' mode' and my time is more 'flexible' (i.e. I don't need to be on a job site at a specific time), I can stay home with the sick child, or prepare dinner or whatever... This career would be a non-starter if my wife was not supportive.