I grew up in New York and Virginia, then spent 16 years serving our country in the Army National Guard. I began my culinary career in Virginia and worked my way up to a corporate executive chef. My passion for culinary arts took me all over the country, including Flagstaff and Scottsdale, Arizona and Des Moines, Iowa.
As a single parent, the only way I could be a successful chef and also an involved parent was to open my own restaurant. My daughter and I chose Southern Indiana as the place to start a business because we have family nearby. After three years in Jeffersonville, where I started a fine dining Italian Restaurant, I learned about Corydon from a customer. In 2011, my daughter and I moved to Corydon and opened Alberto’s, a fine dining Italian restaurant.
Wow! Our Corydon customers enthusiastically supported our business and we outgrew the original space in one year. Since then we’ve expanded to a location three times the size of our original restaurant and have opened two additional restaurants: Big D’s Smokin Butt BBQ and Yo Mamas! Pizza. But, we are not finished bringing great food to Corydon.
My ultimate goal is to own five restaurants in Corydon, including Swankie Frankies, a gourmet hot dog stand and Kennedy’s, an upscale steak house. Before we add two more restaurants, we need to add equipment at Big D’s Smokin Butt BBQ so we can expand our menu to include salads, sandwiches and more cold menu items.
Big D’s Smokin Butt BBQ is named for my friend, Damon Carey, known as “D.” D’s mom was a great cook and she inspired both D and I to become chefs. Just before D passed away, he was opening a food truck in Norfolk, VA with excellent BBQ and soul food. Corydon is a long way from Norfolk, but D’s picture hangs on the wall of our restaurant and he and his mom’s excellent recipes live on!
This restaurant has been well received, but we have had numerous requests from our regular customers to expand the menu. Downtown Corydon specifically needs excellent, healthy salads, sandwiches and other cold menu items to complement the existing food offerings. We always want to be a business that responds to customer requests!
As our community prepares to host the Indiana Bicentennial (Summer 2016), local leaders have asked us to expand our menu to accommodate a wider range of customers. Specifically, we will be adding cold menu items, including salads and sandwiches. This loan will help us reconfigure the kitchen and purchase refrigerators and sandwich units (each unit is about $2,000). As this restaurant succeeds, we will be one step closer to our ultimate goal of owning five restaurants in Corydon.