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Carmel, Ind. – How does a salmon frittata or a potato waffle sound this morning? Have you ever had your waffle with cheese?

“You put maple syrup on the waffle and we put cheese sauce because that’s who we are,” said Andrea Melani. “We’re Italian!”

Melani has been running around kitchens since he was a kid.

“My mom and dad own restaurants in Italy.”

And when he moved to the states 20 years ago, he naturally started working in restaurants. He met Emilio Cento, but their story wouldn’t really start until many years later.

“It was a big full circle! We met 20 years ago. Worked together. Then I took one way and he took his way. And then eventually he wanted a partner for his own restaurant. I was working on Convivio and I said, I’m working on this project. Do you want to partner?”

That was a few years ago and now there are locations in Zionsville and Carmel.

Convivio has done so well at 116th and Meridian in Carmel they thought about expanding into the space next door, but then decided they’d try breakfast instead.

They opened Caffe Buondi in February.

“Caffe means ‘cafe’ and Buondi means ‘good day’ in Italian.”

And as they serve beautiful gallette’s filled with eggs, ham and cheese, social media users can’t help but snap pictures.

“There was a lot of attention sort of unexpectedly. It’s been surprisingly great!”

Go to Caffe Buondi’s Instagram page and you’ll see they’ve only posted once. But search their name and you can scroll and scroll through local’s posts.

“I think it has to do the decor and has to do with the espresso bar. We didn’t expect to get that sort of response. I love our guests. I have guests that are here three or four times a week. Sometimes at both places. Sometimes I see them here in the morning and then there at Convivio at night.”

Melani misses Italy and his family, but he has no regrets making this community his home.

“The people here are eager to see new places and support the community. which is great.”

Melani and Cento would love to stay in Hamilton County and open a third Convivio location in Fishers, but they also have a new concept in mind for Mass Ave. They’ve been approached by developers, so stay tuned!

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