I have a new girl/business/artist crush.  I was in Virginia Highlands this morning for an (Eat, Pray, Love-themed)Ladies Who Launch event held at Bella Cucina Artful Food that featured a wonderful conversation between LWL Market Director, Angela Stalcup and Bella Cucina creator, Alisa Barry.

Alisa openly shared interesting and colorful stories from her personal and business journey – served up with a side of lessons learned along the way.  In addition to her super cute outfit, she was warm and candid, and a simply lovely person.  I felt like I knew what she would say before the words were spoken.  Though, my own story is completely different, many of the same influences and principles are at work.

I loved the fact that you could feel her creative spirit not only throughout the store (filled with beautifully packaged yummy goodness like I’ve shown above), but also through her entire staff.  They prepared a wonderful tasting spread and cared for everyone in an attentive and gracious manor.  As I wandered through the little store, admiring the items and packaging (I am a designer after all), I kept thinking things like “Oh, my friend Judy would like that lemon spread!” and “My mom would love that basil pesto!” and “That cute pesto trio would be a perfect housewarming gift!”

So, of course I left with a bag-full-o-goodies including their famed Artichoke Lemon PestoSun-dried Tomato & Basil SpreadDeath by Chocolate Cookies, and an assortment of chocolates.  I can feel some moments to be savored coming on!