2023 makes 25 years for Parisi… what started out as an experiment fueled by a heck of alot of inexperience & equal amounts of passion, is now 100% woman-owned (me, Christine Parisi) and I feel very seasoned… I know my business very well. Parisi began in my 20s, never having worked in the industry & as a result of nostalgia for Italy, since my partner & I had just moved from Firenze to Denver (I’m American originally from Rochester, NY but lived & worked in Italy a few years). I started calling it “edible nostalgia” to try to explain to friends & family why on Earth we would start a business we knew very little about. I felt very confident that our knowledge of Italian food would carry us through the growing pains of running a small business. It has been a wild journey (especially considering going through a pandemic) and impossible to chart, but I’ve stuck to tradition… I’ve watched food become trendy, tattooed chefs become stars & folks that don’t know much about the culinary world, promote it. This industry is nothing like it was when I started, mostly because of social media. I’ve learned to appreciate this from a distance. When moving to the Tennyson location, it would have been easy to lean into a finer dining concept, removing the fast-casual aspect, but I’ve been adamantly dedicated to being an affordable, casual concept. Trends come and go… but the kind of place you can come to weekly, know the Italian-speaking staff by name (we’ve had so many over the years), watch families move into the neighborhood, raise kids (and even have a few that end up working at Parisi) has made an experience that transcends trend, and has “staying power”, at least thus far. Parisi is deeply connected to the community, and I’m proud to say that now our community stretches far beyond Denver… my favorite stories being a family that moved to London, was back visiting and had a “must-do” list… we were at the top of their list. Or another couple who met while attending Regis, but now are married and live far away, converged with family from multiple states to have a baby shower here in Denver at Parisi since this was their favorite place when they were just students. Yes, I am passionate about Italian food, but even more about promoting the kind of connection through food that helps create a community.