Parallel Design Group Parallel Design Group

Client Stories

It's Always A Good Morning @ Caffé Buondí!

Here's an interview with Restaurant Co-Owner, Andrea Melani (at Caffé Buondí)!

Adrienne (AE): Talk to us about the meaning behind Caffé Buondí. What’s behind the name?

Andrea (AM): It means Good Morning. We wanted our guests to have a good start to their morning.

AE: What is the intention/vibe you wanted to create in this new space?

AM: A place that is welcoming of all people; that is fresh, clean, bright and energizing. We want to invite people to have a good day that starts here!

AE: Has it always been a dream of yours to open up a restaurant?

AM: Yes and no. My mom and dad owned a few restaurants in Italy. We used to live right above one of them. I literally lived in the restaurant. I started working in the business when I was 14 years old. For the most part, I helped with whatever was needed and eventually took over one of the restaurants after serving in the military. In 1998 I came to America for the first time. I helped my mom and dad sell the restaurant.

AE: Seems like it runs in your blood. Talk to us about your experience in the restaurant industry after you closed the family business?

AM: After moving to America in 2000 full-time, I went to school, got married and had kids. I had always loved design and filmmaking, but the restaurant industry continued to call my name. I was a manager at Bertolinis, then Morton’s and finally Bravo here in Indianapolis. When my niece came to visit me, she jokingly asked me to start a restaurant. Little time went by before I was researching the process and writing the business plan.

AE: So what happened after you wrote the business plan?

AM: I partnered with the best business partner – Emilio Cento and we put our heads together to dream up Convivio. It took three years to fund it and open it.

AE: So, next Caffé Buondí sits your sister restaurant, Convivio. What made you decide to dig in to create another space knowing how much work it would be?

AM: My business partner Emilio was the one who challenged me to tackle this big idea that was in the back of my head. And I’m glad he did.

AE: What sparked your passion for continuing to create an environment for people to enjoy food?

AM: I have always had a desire to create a space where people can share an experience together.

AE: Why did you choose to work with Parallel Design Group in this process?

AM: Hitesh Patel with Colliers, who managed our build-out, recommended that we work with Parallel Design Group to make our project an easy and a streamlined process. I’m so thankful for his recommendation. He was right.

AE: Why did you like working with Parallel Design Group?

AM: In my previous restaurant building and designing experience, I had always wanted to give input and be a part of the team, but that was not the case in the past with architects and designers. Working with our Project Manager Rachel Reynolds was a great experience from start to finish. It was a true collaboration. It wasn’t combative and that was encouraging.

AE: Who have been some of your biggest cheerleaders in the process of conceptualizing and building new restaurants for the city to enjoy?

AM: Carmel. This community and this city has been so supportive. Also – my business partner Emilio. Gershman Financial Partners believed in my dream and I am forever grateful. And Rich Forslund – he really helped me to connect the dots.

AE: What is your favorite element of interior design within the restaurant?

AM: I’m really happy with the wooden wall upon entrance. I also love the cage over the bar and the bathrooms. One hidden feature that I also love is the lettering on the cage which says “It all ends in wine and biscuits.” This is basically representative of what Italians do. Life is hard, but it all ends with the good stuff. Let’s have a glass of wine and all cheer up!

AE: What’s the favorite feature amongst all of your guests?

AM: People take a lot of photos of the area with the lights around the booths; as well as the food and the coffee. They love the design. They love the food. They love the coffee.

AE: This may be the most important question of all. What is your favorite item on the menu?

AM: Hands down, it is the Ickx Savory Crepe made with buckwheat and folded with swiss cheese, and an egg; sunny side up.

AE: Speaking of favorite (and because I smell the coffee), what’s your favorite kind of coffee?

AM: Espresso.

AE: What has the feedback been from family and friends about your new hot breakfast spot?

AM: Everyone is impressed with the design. They think the space is simple, beautiful and elegant. Most people in our area compare it to Patachou. Martha did a great job over the past 20 years and I can only hope to do what she did.

AE: What are some things that would surprise people who don’t know you?

AM: I love music and they are shocked that I like even country music. I used to coach soccer and took a team to Italy. Also – I would like to write a book and make a movie.

AE: At the end of the day, what is the one thing that you enjoy doing the most?

AM: The whole process of creating something – building something meaningful; making something meaningful.

AE: What would you consider to be words to live by that encourage you in your daily life?

AM: Whatever you need to do, do it right. Stay motivated. Stay hungry. Stay passionate.

Whatever you need to do, do it right. Stay motivated. Stay hungry. Stay passionate.

Follow Caffé Buondí: Website, Facebook, Menu

Follow Convivio Indianapolis: Website, Facebook, Menu

Follow Convivio Zionsville: Website, Facebook, Menu

Photography: The Addison Group LLC, Eduardo Pena