Howard Helfant grew up in the upper middle class community of Valley Stream, L.I., N.U. in Nassau County.
Howard Helfant attended Valley Stream North HS and upon graduation matriculated to nearby Hofstra University, In Hempstead.
Howard’s first position out of college was in new business development with Peerless Importers, a large distributor of spirits in the tri-state New York area.
With a desire to get in to the restaurant business since his days at Valley Stream North, , Howard opened Kosher Mosher, a 300 seat fast food kosher deli in the financial district at 25 Broadway. Howard ran Kosher Mosher for three years and the spot become a regular spot in the financial district for kosher and non kosher diners in lower Manhattan.
Howard opened his first International Poultry Company, a gourmet poultry market selling prepared foods as well as fresh meats . At its peak International Poultry had 6 locations in Manhattan and was the first head chef position for celebrity chef, Michael LaMonaco who later went on to further successes at famous NYC spots such as LeCirque, 21 and then on to his own television show, Michael’s Place on the Food Network one of many well known people who get their start with Howard Helfant.
Howard opened his first Florida location, The Rotisserie in Coral Spring in 1988 while simultaneously operating businesses in both New York and Florida.
In 1992, Howard developed a very unique restaurant concept called Crossing Delancey whose theme was to bring the great cuisines of New York’s Lower East Side to New York’s Upper East Side. With creative use of steamers and meat slicers Howard built the first ever Upper East Side restaurant without the need of a kitchen. Crossing Delancey was a regular feature in New York Magazine for its concept and was later sold to s group of international investors so that Howard could focus on his businesses in South Florida.
Howard was general manager of Trescom Communications, a provider of long distance services and T1 service, as the deregulation of the telephone industry began to take hold throughout the country. As one of the first companies in Broward County offering such services, Trescom received recognition by the Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce.
In 2007 Howard founded and developed Howie’s Hot Shot a novel nonalcoholic tomato slammer that is enjoyed as a standalone beverage as well as a mixer with your favorite spirit. While developing his name in South Florida spirits, Howard then stepped into the low calorie cocktail mixer business with a line of mixers under the Skinny Senorita brand including nonalcoholic mixers for Mojito, Margarita and Cosmopolitan. In addition Howard is an investor partner in Aqua Lytes Artesian Water, very popular bottled water enhanced with infused electrolytes in South Florida.
The restaurateur in Howard never subsided and Howard opened The Mexican, in Boca Raton in October of 2012. This restaurant concept featured a nouveau Mexican menu and tequila bar. Along with partners Mitchell Kaminsky of Gem Financial and Dennis Max, the Mexican a popular location for adults of all ages and features live music on the outdoor patio.
Howard Helfant's latest Boca Raton restaurant endeavor in partnership with the 101 Management Group of Gainesville, FL. has brought in a new era in nightlife in Boca Raton. 101 Cantina Boca Raton will be the highlight restaurant at Royal Palm Place. 101 Cantina features menu selections using local and sustainable ingredients, and offers guests a funky and vibrant setting appealing to both the young and the young at heart. Live music can be enjoyed from the indoor/outdoor patio bar or from any of their comfortable indoor tables/booths.