"We meet up and toss ideas around," Mike Palmer, owner of Staten Island's Tom & Arties Automotive Repair and a member of the group, tells CNBC Make It. "Hustling is a way of making extra, making more."
For these guys, no idea is too outlandish to consider investing in: They crunch the numbers on everything from gigs repairing dented tire rims to up-selling vintage suits.
As self-made businessmen, the five wrangled their way to success from humble beginnings through handshakes and hard-driven deals as only Staten Islanders could — and it landed them their own TV show on CNBC. "Staten Island Hustle," which airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT, follows the friends as they come up with business ideas, market test them and, in some cases, launch them to the public.
In their borough, doing business is different. Staten Island, the often forgotten corner of New York City, has a rough reputation. But it's full of working class hustlers, and the group uses their connections in the community to get stuff done.
"We're totally different on Staten Island, we have a different walk, a different talk," says LaCola. "We've been hustling since we were in diapers."
Even their group is a tangled network — DeCicco first met LaCola and Palmer as young brokers on Wall Street, where DeCicco has worked for 30 years. Palmer and Detore have known each other for decades, since they grew up in nearby Brooklyn neighborhoods, Canarsie and Sheepshead Bay. LaCola later worked in the music industry, as does Montana.
"I know these guys for a very long time in my life," DeCicco says. "That's really the basis of what this show is really about: Guys who believe in a dream, believe in coming up with the next great idea no matter how far reaching the concept is and try to see if we can make something happen."