Sam and Stella Maurici faced some obstacles in trying to open the doors of their tearoom and pizzeria in Moonee Ponds, with a long wait for council permits. But their determination saw Garden Tuscany open in December 2010 in the back garden of their family home.
The former accountant and seamstress combined forces with two of their sons, Lance and Ricki, and developed an unlikely combination of tearoom (Stella loves to bake and make chocolates) and pizzeria (they have a wood-fired oven in their back courtyard that Sam has cooked with for years). The quirkiness of sitting in someone’s back garden certainly pricks interest but the quality of the product and the friendliness of the staff seem to be creating a regular clientele and good local support.
This isn’t groundbreaking food, but it’s well made with consistency. Coffee is overseen by Lance and the family have their own house blend made just for them.