What motivated you to start your business?
The legacy of my father and grandfather motivated me to continue the family business. I did in externship in neuropsychological testing while pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology and worked with people stricken with dementia, brain tumors, head injuries, etc. Many of these people were significantly younger than my parents. It made me realize that if I ever wanted to work with my father and continue the family business, I had better do it soon. So I started working with him at Galleria Marchetti in the late 90’s while still pursuing my doctorate. A year later he got brain cancer and died after an eighteen-month battle. I consider it a blessing that I was able to work with him and learn from him before he died. It is a great honor to carry on his legacy.
Tell us what makes your business different from other wedding companies?
First, we are a small, family-owned business that is now into the third generation. Most small companies either grow much larger, get sold to a larger organization, or cease to exist. The fact that we are still small and family owned allows us able to focus on operating our core business to the best of our ability. Second, we have devoted our business to focusing on outdoor events. Being in Chicago this presents some serious challenges, but after being in business for 30 plus years I believe we do outdoor events better than anyone. Third is our design aesthetic. We are not caught up in trying to create the latest trendy designs for our spaces. Instead, we have tried to incorporate old world European design elements into our indoor and outdoor spaces while marrying them with the most state-of-the-art European outdoor structures. For example, our Pavilion space is comprised of an outdoor courtyard fashioned after the Piazza Pio II in Pienza, Italy, which is adjacent to our 7,000 square foot state-of-the-art Losberger tent. The juxtaposition of the old world design elements and modern outdoor structures makes us unique in Chicago.
How did you handle the pandemic? Did your business model change?
Yes, our business model is changing immensely. We learned that focusing on only large events leaves us way too vulnerable to public health crises such as COVID-19. To diversify our offerings, we are creating several new divisions within our company. We are in the process of developing a prepared food shop at Galleria Marchetti called Como at Home. The food will be largely based on my family’s legendary Como Inn restaurant and will be available for people to buy and serve at their homes. We are also planning on operating as a bar and grill at Galleria Marchetti. It will be called Forno Campo, it will feature menu items from our wood burning oven, and it will have both indoor seating and outdoor seating adjacent to two outdoor pickleball courts and several bocce ball courts that will be available to book for guests. Friends will be able to meet for food, drinks, and games amidst the beautiful grounds at Galleria Marchetti. And finally, we are developing a mobile pizza catering division for smaller events. One of our specialties at Galleria Marchetti, especially for late night snacks, is Neapolitan pizza. We cook it in an authentic wood burning oven imported from Italy. We have purchased a mobile version of the oven so that we can bring our fantastic Neapolitan pies directly to businesses and homes. The pizza catering division will be called da Michele & Matteo, named after my two eight-year-old sons, Michael and Matthew.
What is your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement is that we have been able to not only carry on my father’s business but make it even better. I wish he were here to see it!
What big news do you want to share?
We will be building a brand-new structure for our Pergola space for 2023. It will have a retractable roof like our current pergola structure does, but the new one will be made of all glass so guests will be able to see the sky even when the roof is closed. It will be spectacular!
Triana Flores | [email protected]