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Small Business Spotlight: Buon Cibo, Hernando

A success on his own: After more than a year, Belenchia’s first solo  project, by all standards, has been a total hit

One of Buon Cibo’s signature dishes is its amazing pizza.

One of Buon Cibo’s signature dishes is its amazing pizza.

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.”

Josh Belenchia’s wife, Katie Scruggs Belenchia, who makes Buon Cibo’s desserts while working as a nurse in Memphis, looks over a dish as daughter Harper supervises the project.

Josh Belenchia’s wife, Katie Scruggs Belenchia, who makes Buon Cibo’s desserts while working as a nurse in Memphis, looks over a dish as daughter Harper supervises the project.

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.”

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Buon Cibo

2631 McIngvale Road, Suite 129

Hernando, MS 38632

(662) 469-9481

>> www.buonciborestaurant.com

>> facebook.com/pages/Buon-Cibo-Restaurant/101455236596960

>> Hours:  Tuesday through Saturday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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About Laura Smith

2 comments

  1. Ronnie & Shirley Henderson

    We ate here and loved it! We celebrated our Grandaughter, Hallie’s 7th birthday here and it was a hit! All three of our girls and our daughter, Amy loved the food and the atmosphere! Very family oriented! Great place and very good food!

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