Up & Coming Weekly

March 15, 2022

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

Issue link: http://www.epageflip.net/i/1460604

Contents of this Issue


Page 13 of 32

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM MARCH 16 - 22, 2022 UCW 13 Nadia Minniti, the owner of Gusto Napoletano, never expected to leave Segra Stadium last week with funding for a food truck, but she did. Minniti was one out of eight women who pitched their ideas to the Wom- en's Business Center of Fayetteville at the Center for Economic Empower- ment and Development and the City of Fayetteville for a chance to win up to $10,000 in grant funding. e eight competitors presented their busi- nesses and ideas to a group of judges at Segra Stadium last ursday in an event called #HERPitch. #HERPitch was one out of five themed events throughout the week that helped celebrate, recognize and support local women business owners and employees. Minniti said this theme of support- ing each other continued throughout the competition. "You think that eight women com- peting for this money, the atmosphere is going to be like we are going to be at each other's throats. I was so surprised. We were supporting one another. Helping adjust each other's crown," Minniti said. "We were giv- ing each other advice and helping each other out. Yes, we were all there competing, but you didn't feel the competitiveness of us competing with one another." ree women total were awarded checks. Evolv Dezigns won a check for $2,500 and Joy in Learning Discov- ery Center was awarded a check for $1,000. Minniti won the biggest prize, a $7,500 check. Her plan for that money is to buy a food truck with a custom- ized wood-fire oven in the back to make authentic Neapolitan pizza, the only food truck in North Carolina, to Minniti's knowledge, that would do so. "I am very grateful and happy that CEED is there for us women because this is still a man's world - especially in the restaurant industry and the pizza world. ere are very few women in the pizza world still. I am one of the few women in the world that is certi- fied to make Neapolitan pizza." Minniti opened Gusto Napoletano in Sept. of 2019. She said she only survived the pandemic because she started small with a small staff and a limited menu. While that has helped her survive, she wants to get more recognition in town and have more people eat good pizza. "ere's no food truck that has good pizza in Fayetteville. e market is there," Minniti explained. "Well if we want to increase our sales and continue to grow, getting a food truck is the cheapest way to do that. It will also increase my exposure out into the community." With the grant from CEED and the City of Fayetteville, Minniti believes she could have this food truck up and running in a year. Minniti said she would be excited to see this type of event happen again in the future to help support other women in the community. "ere are a lot of women who have great ideas and sometimes they need a sounding board to bounce this idea off and maybe get funded for them. ere are a lot of valuable busi- nesses that can positively contribute to society, especially in Fayetteville. CEED and these types of events are a great asset to this community," Minniti said. FEATURE HANNAH LEE, Assistant Editor. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Gusto Napoletano wins first #HERPitch Competition by HANNAH LEE Nadia Minniti poses with her prize check of $7,500. (Photo courtesy of Gusto Napoletano.) M A R C H 2 5 T H - 2 9 T H March 25th-29th The Moving Wall will be on the ASOM Parade Field and open for visitors day and night. March 26th Author discussion & documentary screening at 1 PM, with LTC (Ret) Jack Kelley who wrote "Bonded in Battle" & is featured in "My Father's Brothers". March 25th Remembrance Ceremony and Vietnam Veterans Pinning, 4 PM in the Yarborough Bank Theater. March 27th Documentary screening at 2PM. "The Wall that Heals" producer Chuck Fishbein will provide opening remarks. M A D E P O S S I B L E W I T H G E N E R O U S S U P P O R T B Y : V I E T N A M W A R : R E F L E C T I O N S O F C O U R A G E " V I E T N A M W A R : R E F L E C T I O N S O F C O U R A G E " E V E N T S : A L L E V E N T S A R E F R E E & O P E N T O T H E P U B L I C . T O R E G I S T E R F O R E V E N T S , S C A N T H E Q R C O D E O R V I S I T : B I T . L Y / V I E T N A M 4 9

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Up & Coming Weekly - March 15, 2022