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La Dolce Vita

dolce vita

Anne-Marie Marzetti (center) is the president, chef, general manager and owner
of La Dolce Vita. Tom Chamberlain (left) is the front of house manager, and Dan
Keiger (right) is the pizza chef. Barbara Marzetti (not pictured) is the restaurant’s
vice-president, business manager and owner.


Can you describe your business?

La Dolce Vita is a full-service Italian restaurant with dine-in, carry out and catering available, serving house-made sauces, dressings, desserts, and hand-tossed gourmet pizzas fired in stone ovens. We have a full bar with all your favorite cocktails, craft and draft beers, and a Wine Spectator award-winning wine list (2019, 2020 & 2021).

We are the only Wine Spectator Award Winner in Corolla, Currituck County, and one of only three on the Outer Banks.

Anne-Marie is the chef, manages the restaurant and is the social media guru, while her mother, Barbara, manages the business side of things, marketing, and design from her office. They have a great working relationship, are in constant contact, developing and executing business plans together with mutual respect and admiration for each other's strong points and contributions.

When the opportunity arose to expand into the adjacent space in 2017, we took advantage and doubled the size of the restaurant including a larger bar, and then did a complete interior renovation, all while maintaining the high quality of food and service that they are known for.

Can you talk about when/why you made the decision to start your own business? 

After working and managing several different types of seasonal businesses here in Corolla and the US Virgin Islands, Anne-Marie knew she wanted to open her own restaurant. Barbara had always wanted to run her own business but had never really considered a restaurant.

After some coaxing and many long discussions, they started looking for space and/or restaurants to buy. Although they talked about starting a new restaurant different from what was already here, they decided it was best to buy an existing operation and then tweak it to their standards, which they did in early 2010.

Why do you do what you do?

As the saying goes, ‘Food is love made edible’ and we enjoy sharing our family’s love of good food and wine in the company of our friends, neighbors, and visitors to Corolla, in what we think is a very friendly beach environment with global roots.

Why did you choose Currituck County?

Barbara’s family bought property and has been vacationing here since the mid-70s. Then she and her husband brought their children to Corolla every summer to vacation from wherever they happened to be living at the time. When the kids were old enough, Barb spent the summers here with the kids so they could work and enjoy the beach. It made sense to start our business in a location that we all loved, and always came back to, Corolla.

Are you from Currituck or did you relocate here?

Both – our summer home became our permanent home. Barbara is the second and Anne is the third generation of their family to live here.

Did you consider other locations (besides Currituck) for your business?

No, Corolla was the only destination considered, as it was "HOME" to our family -- the only constant in a nomadic lifestyle spanning three generations.

What are your biggest challenges as a business owner?

The seasonality of business here - customers and workers; high cost of doing business in a seasonal resort area - everything costs more - rent, utilities, supplies and employees. Lack of employees is compounded by the lack of affordable housing and transportation at the end of the paved road.

It takes experience and discipline to plan and save money to carry the business through the winter as the bills still come due whether the door is open or not. We've worked extremely hard to build our brand, and deliver a consistent, high quality product for a fair price, with great, friendly service in a relaxing atmosphere.

What are the biggest rewards?

Returning customers year after year, asking for their favorite menu items and servers, and referring their friends and family to our family! We now have some of our best customers' children working for us, and celebrating their birthdays, anniversaries and even receptions and weddings with us.

What sets you apart?

Consistent high-quality food made in-house from scratch, served with a smile - from our family to yours!

What's one piece of advice you would give to someone starting a business in Currituck County?

Be prepared for change - whether it's the weather, the number of visitors/customers, and the seasonality of life on a sandbar!

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Contact Info

La Dolce Vita

798 Sunset Blvd
Timbuck II Shopping Village
Corolla
, NC

(252) 453-0069

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