Pepe Fundora, Cork & Glass and Casa Nuova Italian Restaurant (North Fulton Business Radio, Episode 555)
Pepe Fundora of sister businesses Cork & Glass and Casa Nuova Italian Restaurant joined host John Ray on North Fulton Business Radio. Pepe discussed his Restaurant Manager of the Year award from the Georgia Restaurant Association, his father Tony’s posthumous induction into the Georgia Restaurant Association Hall of Fame, the beginnings of Cork & Glass, how Casa Nuova keeps its employee turnover so low, and much more.
North Fulton Business Radio is produced and broadcast by the North Fulton studio of Business RadioX® inside Renasant Bank in Alpharetta.
Cork & Glass
Take a comfy seat and enjoy a specially curated wine tasting. Experience a wide array of tastes and maybe find your next favorite!
Their wine dinners embody our promise of “Making Wine Accessible”… and not just any wine, but GREAT wine.
C&G’s wine education experiences will help you grow your understanding and appreciation of the nuances of wines from around the world.
Food pairing challenge? Put their team to the test and let them help you find the perfect bottle for your next dinner event.
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Casa Nuova is a family-owned gourmet Italian restaurant, owned by Maria Fundora and her son, Jose “Pepe” Fundora. Casa Nuova is a true farm-to-table restaurant and is Trip Advisor’s 2021 Traveler’s Choice in Alpharetta.
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Jose “Pepe” Fundora is the owner of the wine shop Cork and Glass and co-owner of Casa Nuova Italian Restaurant located in Alpharetta, GA, in the northern suburbs of Atlanta.
Pepe is a social Electrical Engineer turned Sommelier. Pepe earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering at Georgia Tech in 2010 and spent some time in the corporate world before ultimately deciding to return to his roots, his family’s local Italian restaurant.
From a young age, Pepe worked and became fully immersed in the hospitality industry, from dishwashing to serving tables and learning the tricks of the trade from his parents, Maria and Antonio Fundora, longtime restaurateurs in the Atlanta area. Pepe became a co-owner of the family restaurant in 2015.
Pepe always had a deep interest in wine though he affirmed his passion after meeting with reputable winemakers on a business trip taken to California wine country in 2013. Later on, Pepe had aspirations to open his very own wine shop, Cork & Glass, with the idea of “Making Wine Accessible”. His concept includes highlighting various regions to showcase current trends in the wine world, teaching how to pair different flavors together and offering sales on select exclusive wines. His goal is to offer high-quality wines at great, everyday values. Cork & Glass officially opened for business in July 2020!
Pepe is very engaged in the wine world both in the Atlanta area and across the US. Pepe has led over 40 virtual wine dinners with esteemed winemakers from California, Italy, Argentina, and Australia. He was nominated amongst restaurateurs across the country to participate in the prestigious Oregon Pinot Camp in Willamette Valley in 2016. He has volunteered for the High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction for several years and the Auction Napa Valley.
Pepe is a Certified Level 2 Sommelier. He is studying to become an Advanced Sommelier (Level 3) and eventually will finish at Master Sommelier (Level 4) in the future.
Questions and Topics in the Interview:
- Georgia Restaurant Association GRACE awards
- Restaurant Manager of the Year Jose “Pepe” Fundora and his father’s inductee into the Hall of Fame posthumously,Mario Antonio “Tony” Fundora
- Virtual Wine Dinners
- Seasonal Wines
- Gift Giving
- Wine pairings
North Fulton Business Radio is hosted by John Ray and broadcast and produced from the North Fulton studio of Business RadioX® inside Renasant Bank in Alpharetta. You can find the full archive of shows by following this link. The show is available on all the major podcast apps, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Amazon, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, TuneIn, and others.
Renasant Bank has humble roots, starting in 1904 as a $100,000 bank in a Lee County, Mississippi, bakery. Since then, Renasant has grown to become one of the Southeast’s strongest financial institutions with over $13 billion in assets and more than 190 banking, lending, wealth management and financial services offices in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida. All of Renasant’s success stems from each of their banker’s commitment to investing in their communities as a way of better understanding the people they serve. At Renasant Bank, they understand you because they work and live alongside you every day.
Special thanks to A&S Culinary Concepts for their support of this edition of North Fulton Business Radio. A&S Culinary Concepts, based in Johns Creek, is an award-winning culinary studio, celebrated for corporate catering, corporate team building, Big Green Egg Boot Camps, and private group events. They also provide oven-ready, cooked-from-scratch meals to go they call “Let Us Cook for You.” To see their menus and events, go to their website or call 678-336-9196.