Elia Brunner - ASSP Certified Sommelier & Restaurant Coordinator

Updated: Aug 14, 2020

Firstly thank you for your visit and if we’ve not had the pleasure already, I hope we'll meet sometime soon at the restaurant.

After a childhood in Winterthur, Switzerland, full of culinary experiences, being raised in the true wine tradition, I moved to Michigan in December of 2011. It proved to be a difficult adjustment, starting with language issues. Beginning high school half way into the semester, I gotta tell you, it was not easy.

Our big day of opening the restaurant began just two years into our new lives in Frankenmuth. But opening a “restaurant” is not really what we should call it. Let’s call it a small cafe for now, with the main attraction being an antique Christmas ornaments museum, who would have thought that? It really didn't take long for us to figure out that our theme wouldn’t work out as planned… there just aren’t enough people in the world interested in our extremely rare collection while enjoying a Italian cup of coffee, so we had to evolve.

As the years went on, we kept doing the best we could possibly do. And did I mention? None of us had at that point worked in a restaurant before; nor did we have a restaurant education. All we did was wing it! Strangely enough it somehow worked out. In 2015 we got our liquor license, and many of you started noticing us. That was a good beginning, but still it was not enough, we wanted more.

With the motivation to succeed, the search for proper education started. Many college visits in Michigan ended with disappointment. It was simply not what we were looking for, as we were not interested in learning the corporate way. Time went by, and suddenly we received an email out of the blue. It was from not only Switzerland's, but the world’s most prestigious business administration school with a focus on hospitality, announcing a new campus opening in Chicago.