The Azzatos

Vili and Adam Azzato and their daughter, Gabriela, are pictured in front of the old “Whissels” building on Ridgway Road, which will become a future home for “Anytime, Lunchtime.”

ST. MARYS — Vili and Adam Azzato, a couple with an extensive culinary and hospitality background, brought their food-truck dream and cooking skills to Elk County last year. The couple recently announced they are taking this dream one big step further by acquiring the old “Whissels” ice cream building on Ridgway Road.

“Anytime, Lunchtime” uses local, farm-fresh cuisine to create burgers, sandwiches, fries, children’s meals and more.

Vili Azzato said the two have big plans for the building, including an outside patio, a sit-down bistro bar area, chef’s table dining experience, outside event lawn and expanding the Anytime, Lunchtime menu.

Being that Adam Azzato was born and raised in St. Marys, taking over such an iconic community building is an honor, Vili says.

The vision for the building is a five or six-year plan, Vili noted, and they plan to keep the food truck as well.

“We want to still make our way around, and do special events,” she said.

The couple will be hiring employees to train and share their experience with hospitality, Vili said, but more importantly, become part of the Anytime, Lunchtime family.

“We are looking for part-time workers to train,” she said. “We want to bring what we have learned in culinary and hospitality and work with people. Adam is passionate about passing on knowledge and teaching.”

The Azzatos hope to possibly provide culinary internships, too, helping students with work experience and connections.

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“It’s all about building relationships,” Adam said.

Adam said the food truck’s business exploded during COVID-19, since people are more comfortable with less surfaces to touch and big parking lots for social distancing. The couple also had a donation jar and contributed to area businesses in need.

More than offering fresh, made-from-scratch cuisine, the Azzatos are sure to get to know their customers, Vili said.

“Everyone has been super nice to us,” Vili said of the community. “People enjoy our company, too. This has been very personal to us.”

“We create food, experiences and jobs, inspire, create and support farms,” Adam added.

Anytime, Lunchtime will add soups and salads to its sandwich shop menu, too, since more storage and help will be available within the new building.

The Azzatos also plan to keep the Whissels legacy alive, while putting their own spin on the ice cream, Vili said, since people in the community treasure memories of getting ice cream with their families growing up.

“People remember going there as a child,” Vili said.

For upcoming locations, visit “Anytime, Lunchtime” on Facebook or www.anytimelunchtime.com.

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