Have you ever wondered why you’re in a certain career path, or love certain hobbies or activities? Where does this deep-rooted passion come from? Why do we seem hard-wired to have certain passions in life? I’ve heard the phrase, “they come by it honestly,” multiple times. But what exactly does it mean?
Growing up, I have vague memories of my Grandpa Zagata’s corner store. He sold it and retired when I was pretty young. Grandpa Z also had a huge garden and sold his produce on the side of the road in front of his house. Grandpa Miller had a candy store (which was also a- ahem, speak easy) and later on had a barber shop in the basement of his house. I remember playing in the basement on his barber’s chair. My Great Grandfather Zagata had a reputation of making the best libation in the Rochester, NY area during the Prohibition. Whenever he was caught by the authorities, he was always quickly bailed out and had a new “shop” set up within hours due to his customers. As a child, I spent time with both my grandmothers and mother learning family recipes. My husband’s father had a restaurant. Joe picked up a passion for food working with his dad.
One family story I absolutely love involves my great grandparents, Henry and Anna Miller. The following “story” is from my Great Grandfather Henry Miller:
Once upon a time there was a house on Riverside Drive. It was Miller’s house. There were no locks on the doors.
Every Sunday the dining room was jammed with relatives, friends, and their friends comes to partake of the hospitality.
One Sunday Anna looked down the long table and said to Henry, “Who’s the fellow on the end?”
Henry peered into the distance. “I don’t know.”
Anna said, “Maybe somebody brought him and forgot to introduce him. Looks like he’s having a good time. “
Few minutes later, the fellow came up to Anna. “This has to be the finest food in town. How much do I owe?” He held forth a five-dollar bill.
Anna looked surprised. She smiled about was about to say, “Nothing,” when he glanced around the room.
“I was walkin’ up the street. I see all these people comin’ in here. I peeked in the window and saw all the food and all these diners.” He paused a seemed to be searching for words. “Lady,” he continued, ”isn’t this a family-style restaurant?”
Thus, Miller’s Inn was born.
As Anna said, “It isn’t a case of going commercial and being cheap. The more we sell, the bigger Sunday dinners we can have.”
To be honest, there is nothing that we’d rather do than to run our business. Cooking, baking and selling our foods, sharing our lives with each of you, brings such joy. Guess you could say that we came by this passion honestly.