Passionate would be an apt word to describe Sonia Zachow, owner of La Casa Toscana on East Park Street.
The woman is passionate about her family, passionate about her Italian roots, passionate about business, and passionate about Butte.
Another word also comes to mind — adventurous.
So much so that Zachow decided running a restaurant just wasn’t enough. It was time for a new adventure — it was time to branch out.
“I wanted to do something different,” Zachow explained. “I felt the need to bring something else to the table.”
Last week, the Uptown Butte business owner opened a second establishment — Gelateria & Pasticceria Fiorentina at 53 E. Park St.
The eatery includes authentic Italian gelato, of which there are numerous flavors to choose. To up the ante, patrons can customize their gelato with liqueurs, beer or wine, as well.
If your palate is craving pastries, the menu has several choices, including tiramisu, cannoli, bombolini, panna cotta and more.
For those not interested in indulging their sweet tooth, soup, salads and grilled panini sandwiches are also on the menu.
Zachow, who lived among family in Italy for more than 20 years, did extensive research before opening her new eatery. “What would make the right fit?” was foremost in her mind. She turned once again to her roots for the answer.
“I wanted to offer something to our community that is unique,” Zachow explained, “and in the process bring a bit of Italian history back to Butte.”
The history Zachow is talking about includes the neighborhood of Meaderville and the traditions these Italian immigrants brought to Butte from their homeland.
The neighborhood, now engulfed by the Berkeley Pit, was home to hundreds of immigrants, mostly Italian.
Men, women and children with surnames like Truzzolino, Bonino, Bertoglio, Favero, Petruccio and Giachetti would settle in and make Butte their home.
That immigrant spirit resonated with Zachow, who quickly made the decision to start a “whole different entity.” Once the decision was made, it didn’t take long for her newest venture to be up and running.
“When you have a plan and already own the building,” said Zachow, “you can work quickly to get things done.”
Complete authenticity was a must for Zachow, so, of course, all her machinery was shipped from Italy.
Knowing she couldn’t take on this newest venture on her own, she hired a store manager, Deann Pribnow.
Pribnow has known Zachow for several years and has worked off and on in her restaurant, located next door, for the last two years.
After a 15-year career with the Montana Department of Revenue, Pribnow decided she, too, was ready for a new adventure.
“Sonia kept recruiting me to get on board,” laughed Pribnow. “It’s the best decision I ever made.”
The two women seemed to have found their niche as they put the finishing touches on the pastries.
“I’m having a great time,” said Pribnow.
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