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Community Highlights: Meet Paula Delbuque Gamba of VINIA Wine & Kitchen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Paula Delbuque Gamba.

Hi Paula, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My husband and I always had a passion for food & wines and a dream of opening a restaurant. We used to live in Sao Paulo, Brazil and had nothing to do with the restaurant business, I used to work with marketing at a big Publisher company and Fabio was a designer and had a farm where he grew goat to sell the meat to restaurants, We didn’t want to open a business in Brazil, so we decided to move to Florida, but we didn’t know where exactly. In May 2017, we did a road trip and visited 17 cities in 10 days… The Keys, Naples, Fort Myers, Miami, Stuart, West Palm Beach… After going all over south and central Florida and having not found the perfect spot, it was time to retreat, go back home from Orlando and make a new attack plan. But before that, we decided to have a “consolation prize”, a Mushroom Burger at Shake Shack. And we discovered one store in the map all the way up north. Far from our International Drive area hotel. And then it was love at first sight. The lakes, the streets, the people… It was a place called WINTER PARK. The rest is history….on October 4th, 2018, we opened the doors at VINIA Wine and Kitchen.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Not at all… It is hard enough to open a business, even harder when you are new at it, and I would say close to impossible when it’s in another country, and let’s not forget to mention that we also had a daughter along the way…LOL Everything was very new for us…we rented a place which used to be a shoe store…so we had to do all the remodeling to turn it into a restaurant. I think that was one of the hardest parts: everything we had to do before opening: remodeling the space and understanding how everything works here- licenses, rules, etc… We didn’t do much advertising and VINIA was doing great before COVID hit us… Now we’re trying to figure out how the new normal will be and how we can make sure we have a safe environment for our staff and guests. Everyday is challenging, but we love what we do and this has been an incredible journey. We have learned so much and made so many friends along the way. It’s very rewarding.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
VINIA is a small, quaint and intimate tapas restaurant in Hannibal Square, Winter Park. We have a small menu that changes constantly, so we can always have something new for our guests. this is also a way to use fresh, season ingredients. Everything we can is made from scratch! My husband and I carefully select the wines for our menu, making sure we chose special boutique wines and a variety of grapes that go beyond the well-known ones… I think we are different from other places because we treat our clients as family. We make sure everyone is having a great time and enjoying their visit. This is what matters for us the most: making people happy is our goal.

Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
To love what you do.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Fabio Perricelli and Paula Gamba

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