Wonderful people create food delights

FOODIES: Tony Adolf and Emily Pappas out the front of their business. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

FOODIES: Tony Adolf and Emily Pappas out the front of their business. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

WONDER Wings is a little bit of the United States of America in Bendigo.

Anthony Adolf and Emily Pappas fell in love over a plate of buffalo wings.

"I won Emily's heart over with my chickens in Chicago," Anthony, or Tony as he prefers, said.

"I am originally from Montreal in Canada; Emily is from Melbourne.

"We were both working and living in Chicago at the time.

"Emily was working as an event planner and I was running marketing services for small businesses.

"All the while we were planning a place like Wonder Wings."

The couple said they had connected over a mutual love for good food.

The couple said they had visited Bendigo many times before deciding it was the place for them to open the business.

Mr Adolf said Ms Pappas was the "customer service guru" of the pair.

"She is the cool one," he said.

He said the business adopted a theme to keep it original.

"Our themes are inspiration and making the most of what you have," he said.

"We have pictures of people on our wall who inspire us.

"We have books available for customers to read and we have thought-provoking toys for children."

Mr Adolf said the business was the first of its kind in Australia.

"We are not a franchise," he said.

"We hope to be one day, I guess - this shop is a prototype.

"I think people presume we are a franchise because of the branding.

"We did it like that on purpose to see if the concept would catch on."

Mr Adolf said the business started from a desire to be different to the rest of the food industry.

"The whole industry has a bullying culture," he said.

"It doesn't need to be that way.

"Working in this industry can be a positive thing."

He said the store would celebrate its opening by fundraising for Bendigo for Homeless Youth.

"It's more than just a business," he said.

"For us it's not just about money; it is about doing something good in the community."

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