A success on his own: After more than a year, Belenchia’s first solo project, by all standards, has been a total hit
After working for several restaurants in Memphis and North Mississippi, Josh Belenchia was ready to open his own place.
When he toured a vacant restaurant property in Hernando, the concept of Buon Cibo, which opened March 15, was born.
The property, at 2631 McIngvale Road Suite 129, had been a restaurant for a couple of years, and the previous owners left nearly everything in place.
“Tables, chairs, the pizza oven, plates and bowls – everything was still there,” Belenchia said. “So, I basically built my menu and concept around what was there. You’re going to spend enough money opening a restaurant, so when something like that is handed to you – equipment like that – what was the need in having all that taken out?”
Buon Cibo, which is Italian for good food, offers pizza, pressed and toasted sandwiches, soups and salads.
The restaurant’s concept focuses on fresh and local food, which stems from Belenchia’s training under Jackson Kramer at Interim in Memphis.
“Why buy grits from California or wherever when I can get them from Delta Grind an hour down the road in Water Valley?” he asked. “It’s the way it should be done; use what’s near you.”
Belenchia started his culinary career at Crescent City Grill in Hattiesburg as a fry cook and worked his way up the culinary ladder before enrolling in the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.
After school, he worked at the Purple Parrot Café in Hattiesburg, Old Venice Pizza Company in Hernando and Wally Joe in Memphis.
He settled in at Interim for four years, eventually became executive chef and started a family with his wife, Katie Scruggs Belenchia, who makes Buon Cibo’s desserts while working as a nurse in Memphis and caring for the couple’s two children, Harper and Jonah.
The restaurant’s opening was relatively seamless, Josh Belenchia said, and the toughest part has been time spent away from his family. He’s been spending 10 to 12 hours a day doing kitchen prep-work.
“That’s what’s great about having our own place, though – my family can come and be here anytime,” he said. “Just the other day my dad came up, put on an apron and cut chicken with me.”
2631 McIngvale Road, Suite 129
Hernando, MS 38632
>> Hours: Tuesday through Saturday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
BEFORE YOU GO…
… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.
If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.Click for more info