After years of dreaming, an unexpected sequence of events went "boom, boom, boom" and Sherry and Dave Marino got their wish more than two fold - a bistro for both of them, an outlet for her creativity and a house in the trees.
In a head-spinning span of time, the couple bought Pasquale's Place and Armadilla Wax Works, both in downtown Prescott, as well as their home in a forested area.
The former North Phoenix residents had been caught up in their careers - hers as an electronic health records consultant and his as a technology consultant. They traveled constantly, leaving little time for themselves.
They had kept journals of ideas for the bistro they wanted to own one day. "The dream was always there," Sherry said. "We want our restaurant. We want our bistro."
And, then, "the time came to do it."
Sherry and Dave's mother, Janie Marino, came to Prescott this past August to explore possibilities. Interestingly, when they went into Armadilla Wax Works to look around, an app on Sherry's phone alerted her that the store was for sale.
"It totally struck up my creative side," Sherry said. "Within three weeks, it was mine."
Anxious that the candle store would be in the hands of people who would preserve its legacy, long-time owners Kent Buttermann and Denise Janike interviewed the Marinos six times, Sherry said.
"They wanted it to be the same, but updated," Sherry said.
The store will tap into creativity that has long been with her. Dave looked back to kids piled on top of their kitchen table, with Sherry helping them make things.
Armadilla Wax Works will remain largely as it has for the many years it has been in Prescott, but Sherry wants to add classes for both children and adults.
In hopes of attracting customers who might come to the store after dinner to have fun with candle-dipping, Sherry has extended Armadilla Wax Works' hours. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
The Marinos bought Pasquale's from Carmella Duncan, and, that, too, was a serendipitous coincidence. When, Sherry and her mother-in-law walked in to Pasquale's to eat, it was another "this is it" moment.
By October, the Marinos had their bistro.
Duncan's son, John, will stay on as manager of the restaurant and described its atmosphere as "It's home. The business started as a family that loves food and people and was an extension of that when it was established in 2006.
"The new owners have the same passion for food, people and family," he said.
Dave is no stranger to the restaurant business. He grew up in a family that has operated restaurants and bars in the Phoenix, Glendale and Peoria areas since1970. Couple that with his grandfather's Italian restaurant in Michigan.
Dave said he has no plans for "huge changes to a place that is already successful" in offering Greek, German and Italian cuisine.
Yet he does want to introduce more affordable food, he said, and he is contemplating extending Pasquale's hours early next year. Current hours are 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for lunch only, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and closed Sunday.
Dave emphasized that all the food Pasquale's serves is homemade and not pre-prepared. The staff even does all the meat-cutting. Both businesses will stick to "made in the U.S.A." and local products, they said.
The Marinos expressed gratitude to his mother for helping them bring their dream to fruition.
"She's a big part of our happiness right now," Sherry said. "She has helped fulfill our dreams."
And, that includes "being in a town that cares," and one that has a lot of amenities, to boot.
"We have to do it," Sherry remembers saying to Dave before they made the leap. "We did it. The stars lined up. We have a creative store. We have the bistro."
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