Carmine Esposito: Carving His Own Path
Updated: Apr 23, 2020
By Jennifer Moulaison | Photos by Darren Lovecchio
East Coast transplant Carmine Esposito was “following a woman’s intuition” when he decided to become a true Carmelite five years ago. “I met my wife, Patty, 16 years ago in Los Angeles, after I was approached by Hollywood to tell my life story. We would visit Carmel every chance we got, until finally, while having dinner at the Cypress Inn, Patty up and decided we’d make the move.”
The story that Patty helped Esposito tell through a docudrama for NBC is truly remarkable. Esposito’s relatives back East were part of the fabric of the new American Mafia, and although he never inspired to be part of that world, he admits making the mistake of weaving some of those influences into his life. Immersed in a community with high-profile bosses to major crime families, Esposito had other interests that occupied his attention. Like many young boys, baseball was a big part of his youth: “The Yankees were a big deal for me, then,” he says. “Now they represent a link to my past.” Icons like Mickey Mantel were a part of his life, all the way through to college at Hofstra University. Unfortunately, his aspirations for a career in major league baseball ended when he went to work for his father. Gaining success with various endeavors in the record industry, nightclubs, and restaurants, Esposito struggled with the knowledge that his success was not his own and eventually rebelled to carve out his own path.
According to Esposito, this rebellion might not have been possible were it not for his mother’s free-spirited influence. “Other friends of mine couldn’t function outside Mulberry Street, but my mother made the decision to send me to military school for a number of years,” he explains. There, Esposito developed the ability to cultivate his independence and break away from the influences at home. Military school was also where he was caretaker for the horses and realized that he had a passion and love for animals.
Now a contented Carmelite, Esposito spends his days with a slightly different (and four-legged) crowd. He and his wife run Carmel Dogcare, a kennel-free home environment boarding service where dogs are found sprawled out on overstuffed furniture or lounging on sunny decks. The couple also exercise their “guests” with frequent hiking and beach trips so that they can enjoy time outdoors while their owners are away. “There are times when I’m sitting with my ‘kids’ and I wonder whether I’m taking care of them or they’re taking care of me,” says Esposito. “What a contrast from where I came. It was a long journey, but I’m happy to say my life has truly gone to the dogs.”