Ancestors, Luigi and Maria Zoia migrated from Padua, Italy to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada in the early 1900s, bringing their family to a new land near “America”, where they would have the opportunity to reap the rewards of their strong work ethic and family commitment. Luigi and Maria built a large boarding house in Canada where they provided room and board for fourteen boarders. It was during the prohibition era in the United States and since Luigi served his homemade wine in the boarding house, he became known in the neighborhood as “The Bootlegger”. At the age of nine, their granddaughter, Maria was sent to live with her grandparents to help with the cooking and cleaning in the boarding house.
In 1936, at the age of 19, Maria met and married Albert Perry, a young man from across the Niagara River in Niagara Falls, New York. In 1943, Maria and Albert (“Al”), along with their baby daughter Lorraine and Al’s 14 year old sister Madeline, embarked on an adventure that would change their lives forever. For personal health reasons, Maria and Al reluctantly left their family and friends in Niagara Falls, New York, and moved West to a little-known, dry and dusty town called Las Vegas, Nevada.
By 1944, Maria’s exceptional culinary skills nurtured by her grandmother and Al’s affable, outgoing personality led them into the restaurant business. They honed their skills at the famous Fiesta Villa Ristorante of the 1940’s, where the “Legends of Hollywood” including Howard Hughes, Clark Gable, Jane Russell, Clara Bow and stars of the 1940’s “hung out” in Las Vegas.