I first opened the shop in 2003 as “La Buona Tavola” which means, “The Good Table” in Italian. It was the natural result of having a classically trained chef for a mother, a sister-in-law who married into an Italian truffle hunting family, and my eagerness to share delicious things whenever I discover them. I truly wanted to show people how easy it is to use truffles and other quality ingredients to make the everyday a little gourmet.
In the beginning, we served delicious homemade sandwiches and soups, which showcased our specialty foods, and also poured Italian wines during our wine tasting events. I later added “Truffle Café” to our name to better convey our full line of products (and to make it easier to pronounce.)
Over the years, I kept filling more of our shelves with yummy, truffle-centric sauces and other goodies that I’d fallen in love with, and I realized two very crucial things: 1) I just didn’t have ROOM to make sandwiches anymore, and 2) if I put everything on sample tables, you could taste everything for yourself while we tell you all the easy ways to use them! Plus, we could offer wine tastings every day and include small, Washington State wineries in our selection! Total game changer.
I’m truly humbled that my little shop has now become a must-visit destination at the world-famous Pike Place Market. As we begin our 17th year, our re-brand to “Truffle Queen” is gaining momentum with more private label products including my famous “truffle-KABOOM” truffle salt, our amazing Truffle Almond Brittle, my Tilted Tiara wine and more.
But there’s no way I could do this alone. My amazing team now includes my daughter, Alicia, and the best group of people a Truffle Queen could hope to surround herself with. Our name may have changed, but my little shop is still focused on welcoming you, and helping you make your kitchen a little more gourmet!
I am the third generation of food-loving women in my family; both my mother and grandmother helped me develop an early love and enjoyment of cooking, baking, and exploring new cuisines. I practically grew up in this shop and have watched it evolve over the last sixteen years. I begged my mom to let me work with her when I was 13, by helping with shipping and warehouse work during school breaks. In 2018, I sat down with her and explained how much it would mean to me to be able to join her, full time. Not only was the timing right, but my studies in business administration, recent experience as a restaurant manager and overall people skills were the right fit at the right time. I am extremely proud to finally be able to lend my full support to the Truffle Queen shop she has worked so hard to build.
Mom and I continue to seek out hard-to-find and exceptional food and wines because we’re excited to share them with you. It’s this passion and enthusiasm that makes our little place a favorite stop for visitors to the Pike Place Market. Above all, I want to follow in my mother’s footsteps by making people feel welcome and help them find something wonderful to take home to their friends and family!
Krista has been with the Truffle Queen since 2016. She has diligently worked her way up from the role of Sampler (luring people into the shop with tastes of our delicious treats), to Wine Steward and is now our Assistant Manager. Krista has taken every opportunity to educate herself about all aspects of fine food and wine and is our most experienced and valued member of our team. Anyone who knows her knows that she is all about hard work, supporting her teammates, and making the Truffle Queen a fun place to visit for all our customers. At the same time, she has worked extremely hard to put herself through college and is currently finishing up her BS in Sociology at the University of Washington. She is like family to us and we couldn’t be more proud of our Truffle Scholar as she works toward her graduation later this year!
Edward has been with the Truffle Queen since June of 2019. This Washington native is ALL about the wine: he curates our wine selection, manages our Wine Club, and plans and prepares the menu for our Friday wine events that have been selling out since before the holidays! His decade of experience in restaurant management has helped Edward pick up some tricks and contacts and he’s a master at finding great deals. With Edward, the Truffle Queen is always stocked with some exceptional, yet affordable wines. Whether you stop in for a daily wine tasting or attend one of our events, Edward will be happy to pour you some of your personal favorites or offer up some new varietals to fall in love with!
Marcus joined the Truffle Queen in August of 2019 after working for several years in the food tourism industry in and around Pike Place Market. His love and knowledge of food and wine made for a perfect fit. He is constantly inspired by the 113-year old Pike Place Market which serves as the heartbeat of our Emerald City, and this love shines through whenever you talk to him. Along with Krista, Alicia and Edward, they have truly bonded to become our Wonder Team.
When you’re in town, make a point to stop into the Truffle Queen and join Marcus for a glass of his favorite Syrah or ask him for his recommendations on food, wine and Seattle. You won’t be disappointed!