Tell us a bit about yourself and your business. What made you decide to open your own small business and how long have you been in operation?
I’m Liz Valenti, chef and co-owner of Wheat Penny Oven & Bar. I come from an Italian family – my mom, dad, cousins… everyone in my family cooked. Wheat Penny is an extension of that family tradition. It started out in August of 2011 as the little sister of our Meadowlark restaurant. Wheat Penny came about because we were ready to grow and spread our wings in a new direction. It was an opportunity to put our own spin on Italian and other cuisine. Wheat Penny is all about the food, the cocktails, and most importantly the people and our incredible staff.
What do you enjoy about working in downtown Dayton?
I enjoy being downtown because there is a blue collar, innovative, and creative spirit. It’s invigorating to be part of the downtown community. The whole Wheat Penny team is grateful to be part of Downtown Dayton. We want to cook, make cocktails, and share the love with the community.
Tell us something about your business that may surprise people to learn.
It may surprise people to learn that even though we started out as a pizza heavy, pizza-centric restaurant, and still are known for our pizzas, more than half of our business now is cocktails, different culinary items, and crafted mocktails.
How is your business coping with the pandemic and how can people support you now?
The irony and the struggle during the pandemic is that it has been the ultimate team building experience. Communication has become more simple and black and white, and we feel the love that sustains going through this. The best way to support us is to trust that we are doing everything we can to keep our customers safe and come into the restaurant.
Wheat Penny Oven & Bar
515 Wayne Ave.
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