I’ve been keeping my culinary blood warm and full of new creations for over 20 years. At the young age of 19, I apprenticed with one of the top ten pastry chefs at Cherokee Town Club. My experience there and my love of creating led me to my first venture called “SWEET CREATION’S BAKERY.”
Four years into my bakery endeavor, I decided to exchange more rent for more exposure. I settled into four more years of cakes, cookies and now sandwiches!! “PORTABELLA’S PANTRY” was all about making a statement with food. I had now created a monster that could only seat 30 inside and 20 people on the sidewalk with live, local acoustic music. Oh well, my one thought for the business was “Bring It!” The food was prepared fresh and the showcase stocked with cheese bennies, cinnamon rolls, cookies, brownies, éclairs, cream horns sold out daily.
To make a long story a little more interesting, I thought that I needed a bigger place so I could seat more customers. I was right. I closed up for six months to work on my next venture. In that time I had plenty of interaction with the design review, arborists and Alpharetta Community Development. The building inspectors became my best friends. My goal was to rebuild an old house so I acted as the general contractor and changed an old marble brick house into “PORTABELLA’s THE DINING EXPERIENCE.” I directed everything from the three-inch water line, the sprinkler, the hood, the grease trap, the test manhole and all in between. After numerous building inspections and six months of blood, sweat and a few tears, I was ready to open. Here we seated an average of 250 people per day six days a week; 60 to 120 people a night five nights a week; and, offered Sunday brunch and cooking classes. I worked at this pace for four years non-stop.
We decided to close up shop after I had my son and I enjoyed some down time with my new family. Now we are back with a luncheon concept so that I’ll have a much better work-life balance. We opened “WILDFLOUR” in historic Roswell in 2007 and even with great success in Roswell and a “blooming business," we decided to move back to Alpharetta where my true success started and my heart lies. Our place is small and we make everything fresh to order on a daily basis. We offer high quality food with little to no preservatives and try to use as much from the garden as possible. Please come on in, have a relaxing lunch and for those that want to linger---that would be great too. Summer brings Saturday hours and a patio for outdoor seating. Hope to see all of YOU SOON.
Peace, love and happiness….