Title: Catch the White Tiger: How I Achieved the American Dream with $28
Author: Tony Assali
Publisher: Reading Glass Books
Genre: Memoir / Biography
Reviewed by: David Allen
Pacific Book Review
Step aside, Horatio Alger! Meet Tony Assali; the living embodiment of the American Dream.
Readers fond of Mediterranean food – and of hummus in particular – may recognize Assali as the founder of Cedar Mediterranean Foods, which introduced hummus and related delicacies to American tables back in the 1980s. Assali also crafted successful companies in men’s apparel, frozen food and real estate. These ventures clearly establish Assali as a self-starter, given to fits of intuition and amazing business acumen that almost always work out.
Not only that. Assali is a very good writer as well. His encounters with dubious customers, his alliances with big names in food retail including such recognized brands like Panera Bread and Trader Joe’s, his stops and starts along the way – all these make for this book’s wonderful can’t-wait-to-turn-the-page reading. The author’s enthusiasms and excitements are positively infectious, and truly inspiring. This book stoked my appetite for Mediterranean food as well as for ambition and success!
It’s not just about hummus. Tony, who fled a horrific civil war in Lebanon, comes to America with a whopping $28 dollars in his pocket – and a vow that he would succeed. Which he does – royally, famously, by dint of true grit and boundless self-discipline. Tony does more than eke out a living, he does more than simply survive. Tony thrives. He scores one success after another, in haberdashery, in frozen meats, in restaurants and food service.
He brings a wife and son over from Beirut. One of the stunning lessons of this book – and of Tony’s life – is that life equals change. Assali, never one to put life on hold, describes in moving terms the three marriages and wives that preceded the kismet marriage match of 2018.
What is the significance of white tigers and how do they fit in? Simple. White tigers – precious, nearly mythical creatures – can take many forms. Tony had at least four, wonderfully captured in this book: the right life, the right flow, the right place (America), and of course, the right woman.
The book is a hidden treasure and will glow with insight and inspiration when opening the covers of this treasure chest.