We recently had the privilege to be selected by the boys at Food Unchained for a featured YouTube episode in Season 2 (2018). In order that friends of Nonni’s Corner Trattoria could get to know them better, we spoke with Greg Happ who acts as their videographer and on-screen participant. Here are excerpts from our conversation in April 2018. We hope you enjoy!
Nonni's Corner Trattoria: Welcome to you, Greg! Thanks for speaking with us about your terrific YouTube channel, Food Unchained. Folks in the area and those visiting northwestern Pennsylvania have a great resource in your team’s work so we thought it would be great to allow them to get to know you a bit more.
Food Unchained: Thanks, David! First of all, on behalf of myself, Mike, and Dan, we'd like to thank you for taking the time to speak with us!
Nonni's Corner Trattoria: Can you summarize for our readers what your YouTube channel, Food Unchained, is about?
Food Unchained: Our goal for Food Unchained is to capture the essence of Pennsylvania's rich and vibrant culture through locally owned and operated eateries. No chain restaurants, no gimmicks, just good food and great vibes. We’ve had the pleasure of visiting 8 restaurants in each of our first two seasons, and this is something we wish to continue for years to come; exploring every inch of Pennsylvania in hopes of finding the most authentic, entertaining, and delicious eateries.
Nonni's Corner Trattoria: You and your buddies, Dan and Mike, are hilarious together. Working with you really is just a lot of fun and we really enjoyed working with you. Tell us a bit about your backgrounds.
Food Unchained: Well, David, we all grew up together! We’ve truly spent a tremendous amount of time with each other and we still enjoy hanging out regularly outside of Food Unchained. I think you call that best friends, right? We all attended Commodore Perry High School in the small town of Hadley, PA. During much of our childhood we spent our free time creating “movies” in our backyards. We’ve always had an affinity for storytelling through the use of film. Upon graduating, Dan went on to Robert Morris where he earned a pair of degrees. Mike is a longtime, hard-working employee at a local manufacturing company, Nittany Coatings. And, I went on to Edinboro University and earned a degree in Film & Video Production. We’ve combined our talents and our LOVE for filmmaking to bring about Food Unchained.
Nonni's Corner Trattoria: You’re not hired by the restaurants you feature. Is that right? In our case, we were very happily surprised that you approached us about doing an episode for Food Unchained. Tell us more about the process of choosing locations and how you get your support for your creative work.
Food Unchained: The process of choosing the restaurants we feature is definitely the most pain-staking part. Not only do we thoroughly research the eateries in our area, but we heavily rely on suggestions from our fans. After all, this show is for them. Dan has developed a system containing just about every restaurant in the area which we’ve gathered through research and suggestions. From there we narrow our lists, narrow them again, narrow them again, and then we reach out to the selected restaurants to see if they’d consider having us feature them. Some assume we are asking for money, but we assure them we are not.
Nonni's Corner Trattoria: We witnessed the great chemistry you all have together. You’re pretty authentic in your friendship. We really love the humor and frivolity that you bring to the table...so to speak. Do you all have as much fun behind the scenes as you did when you filmed your episode at Nonni’s Corner Trattoria?
Food Unchained: We really love what we do, and we hope that shows through the content that we produce. This project is our passion. We’ve always had a love for our home state and for good local food and we like to keep things very laid back. We let our genuine reactions unfold throughout a shoot. We never show up with a script; everything is entirely candid. Now that’s not saying that we don’t prepare for our shoots; pre-production work is a very valuable part of the process. So, if it looks like we’re having a blast, on and off camera, then we are truly happy to be there!
Nonni's Corner Trattoria: We sincerely enjoyed the episode that you created about Nonni’s Corner Trattoria. We can’t thank you enough. We know your work brings a lot of visibility to independent restaurants and pubs in our area, which in turn brings in many out-of-town guests. Even local residents learn about the variety of good independent restaurants and pubs available to them.
What do you three have up your sleeves for other projects beyond Food Unchained?
Food Unchained: While we have always had a passion for the fiction aspect of filmmaking, right now it’s all Food Unchained, all of the time. This project is one we hope to grow for many years to come. We have realized that we may eventually run out of awesome, locally-owned restaurants to feature. And, you know what? That’s perfectly fine with us! We hope to continue bringing new eateries into the limelight as we expand across Pennsylvania, while giving each place the exposure it deserves. For us, this is only the beginning.
You can enjoy the episode featuring Nonni's Corner Trattoria on Food Unchained's Facebook page or YouTube Channel. We encourage you to support Food Unchained through Patreon.
Downtown Grove City, PA, is host to a great variety of restaurants, shops and entertainment. Come visit us at Nonni's Corner Trattoria. Come Dine with Nonni Today!
Nonni's Corner Trattoria features our Sicilian family's recipes and cuisine in an elegant atmosphere. Located on the corner of S. Broad St. and College Ave. (251 S. Broad St.) in Downtown Grove City. Call for reservations. 724.264.4337