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  • Meet the Heart and Soul Behind Pizzeria La Sorrentina: Daisuke and Amy Hernández Matsumoto

    At Pizzeria La Sorrentina, we are proud to introduce the loving pair behind our beloved Southern Italian trattoria: Daisuke Matsumoto and Amy Hernández Matsumoto. This husband-and-wife team brings passion, dedication, and a slice of Naples, Italy to Vancouver, WA. Hometowns and Journey: Daisuke comes from Nishinomiya, Japan, and Amy is from Spokane, WA. They have called Vancouver, WA, home for the past 15 years. Together, they’ve created a cozy and authentic Italian dining experience that has become a local favorite. First Jobs: Daisuke got his start in the restaurant industry early, working at his parents' Italian restaurant, Caruso, in Nishinomiya, where he learned the ropes as a dishwasher, prep cook, and busser. Amy’s first job was as a teacher assistant in a daycare when she was just 15, showcasing her early dedication to helping others. Favorite Ways to Spend Free Time: When they’re not at the restaurant, Daisuke and Amy love traveling to Seattle to explore Japanese restaurants, particularly enjoying sushi. Their shared love for food and travel keeps them inspired and connected to their culinary roots. Biggest Accomplishment: Their biggest accomplishment is opening Pizzeria La Sorrentina one day before the pandemic hit. It took two and a half years of hard work, including business classes, interviews with other business owners, and building a business plan. Despite the immense challenge of opening right before a shutdown, their dedication and resilience kept them going. Biggest Obstacle Overcome: Running their food cart was a major learning curve. While Amy worked full-time as a teacher, Daisuke managed the food cart, and Amy helped on weekends. When Amy’s mother was hospitalized, Daisuke managed the home, their three dogs, and the food cart alone while supporting Amy. This tough period prepared them for future challenges and strengthened their partnership. Inspirational Figure: Daisuke’s late father, Tomio Matsumoto, is a huge inspiration. He ventured from Nagasaki to Tokyo at age 12 and was one of the first to open an Italian restaurant in Japan. His dedication and passion for Italian cuisine inspired Daisuke and Amy to follow in his footsteps. Advice for Aspiring Restaurateurs: Daisuke and Amy advise starting small, testing your product, and building a fanbase and funding on your own. They emphasize the importance of thorough research, visiting local restaurants, attending community workshops, and building connections. Effective use of social media and taking one day a week for self-care are also key. Favorite Quote: “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” – Pelé Surprising Facts: Daisuke is a retired judo champion in Japan, having retired at age 30 after earning his last black belt and becoming a sensei. Amy, on the other hand, doesn’t cook and always dreamt of marrying a chef because cooking was challenging for her. Now, she owns a restaurant and hosts cooking classes. What Makes Someone Fabulous: In Daisuke and Amy’s eyes, what makes someone fabulous is embracing life with pure love, working hard for what they want, and guiding and leading others along the way. Come visit us at Pizzeria La Sorrentina to experience the love and passion Daisuke and Amy Hernández Matsumoto pour into every dish. Be apart of the La Sorrentina Family.

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