Maria comes from a family where creating innovative cuisine comes naturally. Both grandparents were in the business, albeit, in very different parts of the world. One grandfather had a restaurant in Pittsburgh, the other set of grandparents ran a cafe in Croatia, Maria’s homeland.
At an early age, Maria knew there was a better life outside of Croatia, and made her first venture to Sydney, Australia where she worked in “burger joint” that served 32 different kinds of hamburgers. Not very exciting, but enough to spark an interest in a young girl.
While visiting friends in New York one year, she was offered a position she just couldn’t refuse. Managing three private dining rooms in the New Jersey National Bank headquarters gave Maria an appreciation for fine wines and innovative cuisine.
She brought this experience with her when she came to Greensboro, again to visit friends. She opened Mr. Dunderbak’s in 1974, and after successfully operating one of the city’s first big-time true delicatessens, she was approached by a San Francisco operation that would take her to new heights of creativeness. Mrs. Robinson’s, a large deli in the “city by the bay,” gave Maria a wealth of experience in handling food preparation on a large scale.
But she missed the warmth of the south, and returned to Greensboro to open a restaurant with her partners… Liberty Oak, a charming restaurant in downtown Greensboro that, even today, enjoys a reputation for fine food and wine.
Never one to be satisfied, Maria opened another Greensboro landmark, O. Henry’s Cafe… located downtown. A meeting spot for many of Greensboro’s business community, O. Henry’s was known for delicious soups, casseroles, wine tastings and private in-home caterings. Maria carved a niche in the restaurant community that gave her a reputation for friendly service, wonderful food and fine wine at reasonable prices.
Her catering business became so much a part of her day-to-day operation that Maria felt she needed to take another step in the business of pleasing food aficionados. Maria’s Gourmet Catering opened up with little fanfare in the Spring of 1997. She looked forward to the day where she could concentrate on special events… for both private and corporate affairs.
So the next time you want a perfect evening of food and fun, take a few moments to call Maria and discover the talents she has to offer you. You certainly will not be disappointed!