Siblings at home and in the office: Meet brothers and sisters behind Long Island businesses

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Siblings at home and in the office: Meet brothers and sisters behind Long Island businesses

As children, sisters and brothers might fight over a toy, cry about who got the first piece of birthday cake, or vie for their parents’ favor, but these Long Island siblings say they’re a dream team when it comes to owning a business together.

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Their businesses range from a jewelry boutique that dates back to 1900s to those that were founded recently. The owners agree that it’s important to keep everything in the same family. Take a look at how well siblings like Kendall and Kylie Jenner (Olsen Twins), Kendall and Kylie Jenner (Kourtney), Kim and Khloe Kourtney Kardashian, the Disney Brothers and the Warner Bros. as well as the Kellogg Brothers and Wright Brothers did.

Kennedy Mcleod, a brother and sister, loved Halloween as a child and came from an entrepreneurial family so it made sense that they decided to start a business out a haunted basement attraction.

“The Terror Below” is a Halloween pop-up in an underground Lindenhurst event space owned by the brother and sister team’s mother, Michele. The fright fest was launched last year and quickly became a must-see event for thrill-seekers from Long Island. People waited in line down the block to gain entry. Themed rooms, corridors, and passageways were created in an approximately 10,000-square-foot area — with Donte and Kennedy designing sets and props and hiring actors.

“Halloween was major in our house,”Donte, 28. “We had speakers and bloody laboratories in our living room for kids to come in and enjoy.” Kennedy, 21, adds, “We won every costume contest we ever entered and we would have three different costumes per year. They were always unique and creative.”

Their mother and other family members who own businesses or are entrepreneurs inspire them. Their uncle owns a home theatre productions company and their grandmother, a jewelry and clothing designer, owned a boutique.

“We remember going to the businesses when we were little … as we got older, we were helping,”Kennedy, a Hofstra University major in business analytics, says. “Our mom had a hair salon and inflatable company. Donte and his friends did the deliveries, and being younger, I just watched the bounce houses, making sure everyone followed the rules.”

The siblings launched a Turo car rental company and are now leading a team of family members that, as investors, are building two vacation houses in Costa Rica and an Airbnb. They are all beachfront properties in luxury developments and will be completed next year. The pair’s father is a native of Costa Rica and Donte and Kennedy used to visit their grandfather there every year.

Not only did they learn how to start a business, but the siblings were also taught that family ownership was the right way to go.

He adds being related enhances the duo’s interest in the partnership going well.

“Donte yells at me at times and then I yell back, but I realize it’s all in love with eyes on the prize,” Kennedy says. “If it’s something we can’t decide we will ask our parents for advice or guidance.”


STORYWIDGET: BROS_FASIB221031

H.L. Gross & Bro. Jewelers began with two brothers owning the business, but it wasn’t set in stone that two brothers would own it today — that just happened.
“Our father, Michael Gross, who was a fourth-generation owner, recently retired and transferred ownership to us,” Matt Gross, 41, explains. However, Matt Gross and Brad were not the only ones who had their sights set on other careers.
Matt was a watch expert, but he also loved to cook and thought about opening a restaurant. Brad had interviewed for Wall Street jobs. When Brad’s interviews were put on pause following 9/11, his career trajectory changed after a few months working for his father.
“I quickly took a liking to the business and decided that being fifth generation of this (at the time) almost 100-year-old business was too much to pass up,”Brad says. Matt was a teenager who worked part-time at H.L. Gross, who helped his father set up the pre-owned watches section. Then after college Matt briefly owned a vintage watch business in Manhattan before deciding it was best to stick with the family’s store.

The first generation of sibling owners — Harry and Abe Gross — opened H.L. Gross & Bro. In downtown Brooklyn, in 1910. The brothers moved to Fulton Street in Brooklyn in 1922. Six years later, they opened a Jamaica, Queens store. In 1940, their first Long Island store opened in Hempstead.
In 1969, the family’s first Garden City store opened, and by the 1980s there were five H.L. Gross locations. It was decided to concentrate the business and its flagship showroom of 5,500 square feet was opened in 2013. This was located across the street from the Garden City site at 840 Franklin Ave.
“As children we visited the store quite a bit,”Matt. He and his brother grew-up in Rockville Centre. “We would help clean the showcases, and as we got older, I would assist in engraving rings and watch case backs; while my brother would enter repair and sales slips into the computer system.”He added, “It was during this time that I developed my love for vintage watches.”
Matt and Brad say they’re very happy with how things have turned out — their personalities work well together, and they couldn’t be closer. They share an office with desks in front of each other, but they say they never tire being around the other.
“My brother takes more of the ‘boss’ position with our team,” Matt says. “He’s better at delegating and overseeing the overall business while I prefer to be more active on the sales floor. It is rare that I disagree with any of his business decisions.”
Brad says that even though the brothers might avoid each other at work for a while, they will still be there when there are conflicts. “very forgiving”Their bond remains strong.
“There’s no substitute for family,”Brad adds. “While we may have our disagreements from time to time, I know that when push comes to shove Matt has my back and I have his.”
STORYWIDGET: GEM_FASIB221031

Tanya Willock-Morsch, Tanya’s sister, and Temidra Willock -Morsch, are four years apart in age. Tanya says that she has always felt this way. “one step behind” her sister until they connected on the idea of opening a store that would offer the unexpected in Hamptons décor.
Their Southampton home design and gift shop, Hidden Gem, has some quiet and beachy looks characteristic of Hamptons vacation homes, but what dominates are products with bold patterns, intense color and rich textures reflecting the sisters’ Antiguan heritage.
“We first learned about entrepreneurship from our grandma at a young age,” Temidra, 33, says. “We would help knit and crochet pieces for us to sell in our front yard. Those experiences put us on our current career path.”

Temidra studied fashion designing at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Los Angeles. She later got a job creating custom rugs. Tanya, 29 years old, went to SUNY Purchase, Westchester, to study fine arts. She then worked as an art gallery manager for 3 years.
“We’ve always seen the same ‘Hamptons style’ in décor stores and often had to go online to find what we’d want to put into our own spaces,” says Tanya. The sisters grew to be Springs residents and still live in Springs. Temidra adds, “We wanted to create a space that showcased our aesthetic and our take on the design world.”
Tanya admits that there were difficulties breaking the mold of Hamptons customs, but the sisters were confident that they could overcome these obstacles by opening their own shop. The shop opened in 2019 “As creatives, we tried showcasing our works in other stores and saw that was hard, not only for us, but for other young talented creatives as well.”
Temidra takes the leadership role in the business — the same role she’s always had in the sisters’ relationship. She claims that each sister knows the other. “stay in our lanes.”
“I love knowing there is someone else that can get things done the way I would,” Temidra says. “I trust my sister a hundred percent. It’s like having a built-in best friend that you get to work with every day.”
STORYWIDGET: HALE_FASIB221031

Over dinner one night, Kate Tuccillo and Haley Shea decided to open a women’s clothing store — it seemed fitting for two sisters who as little girls liked to play dress-up.
“I think it began naturally,”Kate, 43 years old, of St. James. “We grew up in an era of music videos and magazines that influenced what we wanted to wear.”
Kate became a buyer in a Manhattan-based boutique. Haley (37), of Lake Grove, used the services of a national retail management company to oversee new store concept projects. Their first shop was opened in Huntington in 2015. The second one was opened in Port Jefferson two year later.

Haley says that Long Island needed smaller shops to offer more tailored products than the large ones. Kate & Hale’s core customers are women 25 to 50 years old.
“We were inspired by our sisters, family members, friends, women we met through our kids’ schools and sports — really just women in general,”Haley: “On Long Island, most of the options for adult women to shop are in department stores in major malls.”


Haley adds people had long told Kate she should have her own store because she’s a “talented buyer”With an “amazing eye,” but Haley says their business’ success results from the merging of both siblings’ talents.
“We are truly partners,”Haley: “Kate is the buyer and merchandiser and I handle more of the back of the house with employment management and the technical/financials.”
Kate says there’s nothing like having a store with her sister.
“There is no one else I would rather be in business with,”Kate says. “The trust, belief in the other one’s ability, freedom to be yourself, and the support we provide one another cannot be duplicated.”
STORYWIDGET: SHARK_FASIB221031

It was a business that helped siblings Kaley, Keira and Christian Young of Lido Beach deal with a very painful period in their lives.
The trio’s fortune turned when they appeared on “Shark Tank”The entire panel of investors joined together to support an invention by Keith R. Young, their late chef dad and firefighter. On March 17, 2018, Keith R. Young, 53, a member of Ladder Company158 in Springfield Gardens (Queens), died from cancer related to 9/11. His dream was to one day present his no-mess cuttingboard, The Cup Board Pro to the world. “sharks.”

Regulars Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary and guest shark Matt Higgins made the offer of $100,000 for a 20% stake in the company, and the investors and the siblings all contribute 20% of any profit they earn to the FDNY Foundation.
The day after the 2018 episode aired, the inventory was exhausted, and Williams-Sonoma now exclusively sells the Cup Board Pro as well as Keith Young’s cookbook. Christian, 25, said that Shark Tank’s appearance and the resulting deal were a welcome bright spot in a dark period.
The siblings’ mother, Beth King, succumbed to cancer in 2012.
“Our Shark Tank experience is something we will always be thankful for. It was really awesome to be able to work together to bring our dad’s dream to fruition,” Christian says. “We were at the beginning stages of grief when we went on the show — our dad passed three months prior. It became a way to channel our grief into a positive outlet to shine a light on both our mom and dad’s life after losing them both to cancer a few years apart.”
They add that having a family business has brought the siblings closer than ever before. They were previously from Wantagh and recently moved to Lido Beach, where they now live with Brendan Fowler and Kaley Fowler.
Kaley, 29 years old, has also started her own interior design company, but she says she still loves working with her brother and sister. “Going into business with a sibling is the greatest gift,”Kaley says. “They each have parts of my parents in them.”
Keira, 19 years old, notes that the siblings are close and that their mother and father wanted them to remain that way.
“Growing up, our parents valued family time the most so we have always been close and had a really supportive and loving relationship,” Keira says. “Through all the hard times we have always been there for each other, which at the end of the day only makes us get closer and closer.”

As children, sisters and brothers might fight over a toy, cry about who got the first piece of birthday cake, or vie for their parents’ favor, but these Long Island siblings say they’re a dream team when it comes to owning a business together.

The businesses they own range from a jewelry shop that dates back to the early 1900s to more recent ventures. However, the owners agree that it is important to keep everything in the family. Look at how things turned out for siblings such as Kendall and Kylie Jenner and Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Kim and Khloe Kardashian and the Warner Bros., Kellogg Brothers and the Wright Brothers.

BROTHER AND SISTER Kennedy McLeod and Donte 

OWNERS OF You can start a Halloween attraction company, real estate development, or car rental business.

“The Terror Below,”A Halloween pop up in an underground Lindenhurst space

Kennedy Mcleod, a brother and sister, loved Halloween as a child and came from an entrepreneurial family so it was natural for them to dream of creating a business from a haunted basement attraction.

“The Terror Below” is a Halloween pop-up in an underground Lindenhurst event space owned by the brother and sister team’s mother, Michele. The fright fest was launched last year and quickly became a must-see event for thrill-seekers from Long Island. People waited in line down the block to gain entry. Themed rooms, corridors, and passageways were created in an approximately 10,000-square-foot area — with Donte and Kennedy designing sets and props and hiring actors.

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Siblings Donte and Kennedy McLeod, of Dix Hills, at the...

Kennedy McLeod and Siblings Donte McLeod of Dix Hills were among the props and decor that they used last year to create a Hollween scary attraction.
Credit: Daniel Goodrich

“Halloween was major in our house,”Donte, 28. “We had speakers and bloody laboratories in our living room for kids to come in and enjoy.” Kennedy, 21, adds, “We won every costume contest we ever entered and we would have three different costumes per year. They were always unique and creative.”

Their mother and other family members who own businesses or are entrepreneurs inspire them. An uncle owns an entertainment company, and their grandmother was a fashion and jewelry designer who owned a boutique.

“We remember going to the businesses when we were little … as we got older, we were helping,”Kennedy, a Hofstra University business analytics major, said. “Our mom had a hair salon and inflatable company. Donte and his friends did the deliveries, and being younger, I just watched the bounce houses, making sure everyone followed the rules.”

The siblings launched a Turo car rental company and are now leading a team of family members that, as investors, are building two vacation houses in Costa Rica and an Airbnb. They are all beachfront properties in luxury developments and will be completed next year. The pair’s father is a native of Costa Rica and Donte and Kennedy used to visit their grandfather there every year.

Not only did they learn how to start a business, but the siblings were also taught that family ownership was the right way to go.

“We fully trust each other and that’s important in business.”

Donte Mcleod

He adds being related enhances the duo’s interest in the partnership going well.

“Donte yells at me at times and then I yell back, but I realize it’s all in love with eyes on the prize,” Kennedy says. “If it’s something we can’t decide we will ask our parents for advice or guidance.”


BROTHERSBrad and Matt Gross

OWNERS OF H.L. Gross & Bro Jewelers 

Jewelry store in Garden City

H.L. Gross & Bro. Jewelers began with two brothers owning the business, but it wasn’t set in stone that two brothers would own it today — that just happened.
“Our father, Michael Gross, who was a fourth-generation owner, recently retired and transferred ownership to us,” Matt Gross, 41, explains. However, Matt Gross and Brad were not the only ones who had their sights set on other careers.
Matt was a watch expert, but he also loved to cook and thought about opening a restaurant. Brad had interviewed for Wall Street jobs. When Brad’s interviews were put on pause following 9/11, his career trajectory changed after a few months working for his father.
“I quickly took a liking to the business and decided that being fifth generation of this (at the time) almost 100-year-old business was too much to pass up,”Brad says. Matt was a teenager who worked part-time at H.L. Gross, who helped his father set up the pre-owned watches section. Then after college Matt briefly owned a vintage watch business in Manhattan before deciding it was best to stick with the family’s store.

Brothers Brad and Matt Gross showcase their jeweled filled store in...

Brothers Brad and Matt Gross showcase their jeweled filled store in Garden City.
Credit: Dawn McCormick


The first generation of sibling owners — Harry and Abe Gross — opened H.L. Gross & Bro. In downtown Brooklyn, in 1910. In 1922, the brothers moved to a bigger space on Fulton Street also in Brooklyn. Six years later, they opened a Jamaica location in Queens. Then, in 1940, their first Long Island shop was established in Hempstead.
In 1969, the family’s first Garden City store opened, and by the 1980s there were five H.L. Gross locations. It was decided to concentrate the business and its flagship showroom of 5,500 square feet was opened in 2013. This was located across the street from the Garden City site at 840 Franklin Ave.
“As children we visited the store quite a bit,”Matt. He and his brother grew-up in Rockville Centre. “We would help clean the showcases, and as we got older, I would assist in engraving rings and watch case backs; while my brother would enter repair and sales slips into the computer system.”He added, “It was during this time that I developed my love for vintage watches.”
Matt and Brad say they’re very happy with how things have turned out — their personalities work well together, and they couldn’t be closer. They share an office with desks in front of each other, but they say they never tire being around the other.
“My brother takes more of the ‘boss’ position with our team,” Matt says. “He’s better at delegating and overseeing the overall business while I prefer to be more active on the sales floor. It is rare that I disagree with any of his business decisions.”
Brad says that even though the brothers might avoid each other at work for a while, they will still be there when there are conflicts. “very forgiving”Their bond remains strong.
“There’s no substitute for family,”Brad adds. “While we may have our disagreements from time to time, I know that when push comes to shove Matt has my back and I have his.”

SISERS Tanya Willock and Temidra Willock-Morsch

OWNES OF Hidden Gem 

Southampton home design and gift shop

With siblingsTanya Willock and Temidra Willock–Morsch being four years apart in age, Tanya says she always felt “one step behind” her sister until they connected on the idea of opening a store that would offer the unexpected in Hamptons décor.
Their Southampton home design and gift shop, Hidden Gem, has some quiet and beachy looks characteristic of Hamptons vacation homes, but what dominates are products with bold patterns, intense color and rich textures reflecting the sisters’ Antiguan heritage.
“We first learned about entrepreneurship from our grandma at a young age,” Temidra, 33, says. “We would help knit and crochet pieces for us to sell in our front yard. Those experiences put us on our current career path.”

Sisters Temidra Willock-Morsch, left, and Tanya Willock, at their store...

Sisters Temidra Willock–Morsch and Tanya Willock, in their store Hidden Gem.
Credit: Gordon M. Grant


Temidra studied fashion designing at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Los Angeles. She later got a job creating custom rugs. Tanya, 29 years old, went to SUNY Purchase, Westchester, to study fine arts. She then worked as an art gallery manager for 3 years.
“We’ve always seen the same ‘Hamptons style’ in décor stores and often had to go online to find what we’d want to put into our own spaces,” says Tanya. The sisters grew to be Springs residents and still live in Springs. Temidra adds, “We wanted to create a space that showcased our aesthetic and our take on the design world.”
Tanya admits that there were difficulties breaking the mold of Hamptons customs, but the sisters were confident in their ability to meet these challenges by opening their own shop. The shop opened in 2019 “As creatives, we tried showcasing our works in other stores and saw that was hard, not only for us, but for other young talented creatives as well.”
Temidra takes the leadership role in the business — the same role she’s always had in the sisters’ relationship. She claims that each sister knows the other. “stay in our lanes.”
“I love knowing there is someone else that can get things done the way I would,” Temidra says. “I trust my sister a hundred percent. It’s like having a built-in best friend that you get to work with every day.”

Over dinner one night, Kate Tuccillo and Haley Shea decided to open a women’s clothing store — it seemed fitting for two sisters who as little girls liked to play dress-up.
“I think it began naturally,”Kate, 43 years old, of St. James. “We grew up in an era of music videos and magazines that influenced what we wanted to wear.”
Kate became a buyer in a Manhattan-based boutique. Haley (37), of Lake Grove, used the services of a national retail management company to oversee new store concept projects. Their first shop opened in Huntington in 2015, and another in Port Jefferson two years later.

Sisters Kate Tuccillo, left, and Haley Shea, pose for a...

Sisters Kate Tuccillo and Haley Shea pose for a portrait in their Huntington store, Kate & Hale, Friday, October 7, 2022.Credit: Barry Sloan


Haley says that Long Island needed smaller shops to offer more tailored products than the large ones. Kate & Hale’s core customers are women 25 to 50 years old.
“We were inspired by our sisters, family members, friends, women we met through our kids’ schools and sports — really just women in general,”Haley: “On Long Island, most of the options for adult women to shop are in department stores in major malls.”

At the Huntington location of their Kate & Hale clothing stores, sisters Haley Shea and Kate Tuccillo talk about going into business together.

Credit: Barry Sloan


Haley adds people had long told Kate she should have her own store because she’s a “talented buyer”With an “amazing eye,” but Haley says their business’ success results from the merging of both siblings’ talents.
“We are truly partners,”Haley: “Kate is the buyer and merchandiser and I handle more of the back of the house with employment management and the technical/financials.”
Kate says there’s nothing like having a store with her sister.
“There is no one else I would rather be in business with,”Kate says. “The trust, belief in the other one’s ability, freedom to be yourself, and the support we provide one another cannot be duplicated.”

SIBLINGS Kaley, Christian and Keira Young

OWNERS OF Cup Board Pro 

“Shark Tank”

It was a business that helped siblings Kaley, Keira and Christian Young of Lido Beach deal with a very painful period in their lives.
The trio’s fortune turned when they appeared on “Shark Tank”The entire panel of investors joined together to support an invention by Keith R. Young, their late chef dad and firefighter. On March 17, 2018, Keith R. Young, 53, a member of Ladder Company158 in Springfield Gardens (Queens), died from cancer related to 9/11. His dream was to one day present his no-mess cuttingboard, The Cup Board Pro to the world. “sharks.”

Siblings Christian, Kaley and Keira Young in their living room...

Christian, Kaley, and Keira Young with their dogs Isabelle Bell and Tallulah Bell. 
Credit: Bruce Gilbert


Regulars Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary and guest shark Matt Higgins made the offer of $100,000 for a 20% stake in the company, and the investors and the siblings all contribute 20% of any profit they earn to the FDNY Foundation.
The day after the 2018 episode aired, the inventory was exhausted, and Williams-Sonoma now exclusively sells the Cup Board Pro as well as Keith Young’s cookbook. Christian, 25, said that Shark Tank’s appearance and the resulting deal were a welcome bright spot in a dark period.
The siblings’ mother, Beth King, succumbed to cancer in 2012.
“Our Shark Tank experience is something we will always be thankful for. It was really awesome to be able to work together to bring our dad’s dream to fruition,” Christian says. “We were at the beginning stages of grief when we went on the show — our dad passed three months prior. It became a way to channel our grief into a positive outlet to shine a light on both our mom and dad’s life after losing them both to cancer a few years apart.”
The siblings add that the business was a family affair and has made them closer. The three siblings, who were originally from Wantagh, recently moved to Lido Beach where they now live in a home that Kaley and Brendan Fowler purchased.
Kaley, 29 years old, has also started her own interior design company, but she says she still loves working with her brother and sister. “Going into business with a sibling is the greatest gift,”Kaley says. “They each have parts of my parents in them.”
Keira, 19 years old, notes that the siblings are close and that their mother and father wanted them to remain that way.
“Growing up, our parents valued family time the most so we have always been close and had a really supportive and loving relationship,” Keira says. “Through all the hard times we have always been there for each other, which at the end of the day only makes us get closer and closer.”

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