Greenwich Locksmiths in Manhattan is a father/son business. Phil Mortillaro and his son, Philip Jr. make a good team. The elder Phil began working in the trade after dropping out of school after finishing the eighth grade.
Philip Jr. started even earlier than eighth grade. He has been around the business since he was an infant.
His dad says, “I’ve got pictures of you in the shop when you were in the bassinet.”
Philip Jr. says he was intrigued by his dad’s job from an early age. He also recognizes that his dad is an important member of the community.
“I was literally there since day one,” he says, “I saw you do it, I was like ‘OK, I can do this.’ Then I realized, man – everyone loves my dad. One half of that is ‘cause he’s a great guy, but the other half is, like – he’s the guy who helps you when other locksmiths can’t help.”
The elder Phil is a first-generation American. He claims he developed his work ethic because of his immigrant parents. While his own father didn’t appreciate the locksmith business, but Phil didn’t mind.
He quipped, “But I think it was the founder of IBM [who] said, ‘I’m no genius, but I’m bright in spots, and I stay around those spots’, I like that.”