A couple from Michigan entered Mazzini’s Italian Restaurant wanting to drink wine with their dinner.
Owner Pam Walker said Mazzini’s did not sell wine, but she could direct them to 21 and Main where they do sell alcohol.
“They had a little map that just had some squiggly lines,” Walker said. “I told them it would be easier for me to drive them there than direct them.”
The couple insisted she didn’t have to, but she told them the restaurant could run without them, so they followed her downtown.
When she returned to work, her husband and coworkers were shocked that she took potential customers to another establishment. However, Walker says it’s all about helping out the community.
“It’s not about me, it’s about the Town of Elkin,” Walker said. “I want to help make the town the best it can be. We are just a little town trying to survive. If people have a good experience and are made to feel at home, they will come back to our area.”
Born and raised in Clingman, Walker has been the owner of Mazzini’s since 2006.
“No one is a stranger. We want everyone to feel at home. We get people from New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Michigan. As they are going down the highway, I always want them to think of Elkin as a place to stop,” she said. “Mazzini’s is about family and community.”
To make sure all of her customers are happy, Walker says she is particular about her ingredients; making sure everything is the best quality it can be.
“Everything we do is homemade. We make four homemade dressings, marinara sauce, and the Alfredo sauce is made to order,” Walker said. “I work 96 hours a week, and just like quilting, you get the best result when you start fresh.”
Though Walker spends most of her time at the restaurant, she relaxes at the end of the night by quilting. That was a skill her grandmother taught her, along with several other life lessons.
“My grandmother used pieces of feed sacks to make her quilts. I told her I wanted to make it pretty and she said, ‘Pretty won’t keep you warm,’” Walker said. “She also taught me how to count with quilting.”
Her grandmother taught her to read with the Bible and Readers Digest. Through lessons her grandmother taught her, Walker is involved in the community through charity work.
On the Thursday of the month, Mazzini’s picks a non-profit and donates 10 percent of their sales, including taxes. They also donate to schools and theater groups.
For the past four years she has also opened up Mazzini’s on the first weekend of the month and the two-week training session for the National Guard. Walker estimates that this year, Mazzini’s has already donated $1,800 into the community.
“I try to help the community by putting God first, then my family and my career,” Walker said. “I feel like my customers here are family, so I think I’m looking at life through a good perspective.”
Full name: Pam Walker
How many years with the job: 7 years
Favorite food: Ribeye steak and baked potato
Favorite pastime: Taking pictures and spending time with family.
Family: Husband, Deryal, of 19 years
Pets: Dog, Lucy
Residence: Pilot Mountain
City born in: Clingman
Reach Jessica Pickens at 835-1513 ext. 18 or email@example.com.