Local food truck Bella Sorella plans brick-and-mortar restaurant

Elizabeth Corrado Weizman, left, and Gail Corrado Okafor, sisters and founders of Bella Sorella, a popular food truck serving up Neopolitan-style pizzas since 2013, are planning a restaurant in Tipp City. FILE PHOTO/CONTRIBUTED
Caption
Elizabeth Corrado Weizman, left, and Gail Corrado Okafor, sisters and founders of Bella Sorella, a popular food truck serving up Neopolitan-style pizzas since 2013, are planning a restaurant in Tipp City. FILE PHOTO/CONTRIBUTED

Credit: Contributed

The two sisters who founded Bella Sorella food truck and who have been serving up Neopolitan-style pizzas from their mobile wood-fired ovens since 2013 are planning to open a bricks-and-mortar restaurant.

The project is still early in its development stage, but if all goes well, the new restaurant could open in late summer or early fall of 2021 at 14 E. Main St. in Tipp City.

The founders are Elizabeth Corrado Weizman of Clayton, who started using her first brick oven more than a dozen years ago in her backyard; and her sister, Gail Corrado Okafor of Dayton, who previously spent 12 years in the Bay Area in California, where she trained to become a professional chef, before returning to the Dayton area.

The food truck founders are in the process of purchasing the building, known as the Benkins building, Weizman told this news outlet.

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“We have not yet closed on the building. We don’t anticipate any problems, but we still have an inspection and closing process to go through,” Weizman said.

“We’ve been looking around for a brick-and-mortar for several years and knew this space was for us. It has everything we need: space, location, and especially, room for both of our trucks. It’s a dream location for what we want to do."

Bella Sorella, a popular food truck serving up Neopolitan-style pizzas since 2013, is planning a restaurant in Tipp City. File photo by MARK FISHER/STAFF
Caption
Bella Sorella, a popular food truck serving up Neopolitan-style pizzas since 2013, is planning a restaurant in Tipp City. File photo by MARK FISHER/STAFF

Credit: MARK FISHER/STAFF

Credit: MARK FISHER/STAFF

Weizman said she feels the communities north of Dayton are underserved in many aspects. Tipp City, she said, “likes their small business, supports them, and the other businesses there work together.”

The 11,000-square-foot building has a second floor, which the founders plan to use for catering, which Weizman said is “a huge part of our business. We will continue to run both trucks in addition to offering a family-friendly dining room in the downstairs space ... . We’re anticipating we can seat 140 to 160 downstairs with extra seating overflow upstairs if not being used for the private catering space, which can seat 100 to 150.”

A patio also is planned.

“Our menu will be our wood-fired pizzas, salads, some appetizers and desserts,” Weizman said. “We will continue to grow our family garden and farm so we can provide a majority of the herbs, vegetables, and pork for the menu. We have some special and unique things planned for both menu and the aesthetics. And we will offer local craft beer, domestic beer and wine.”

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The coronavirus pandemic has pushed back the founders' projected timeline, and Weizman is being treated for a form of blood cancer, but Weizman said she and her sister are hoping to start build-out before the end of 2020 and to open in late summer or early fall 2021.

“This is our eighth year running the trucks, and we realized, if we want to grow Bella Sorella, the trucks can only handle so much capacity,” Weizman said. “So the natural step was a family brick-and-mortar.”

Bella Sorella already has a staff of 15 to 20, and plans call for adding “at least another 20 to 30” by the time it opens, Weizman said.

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