Melody Urbanic is the Owner of Cafe’ Cimino located in Sutton, West Virginia. Urbanic and Chef Tim Urbanic have, over the past 20 years, lovingly created one of this state’s most popular and celebrated Inns.
Cafe Cimino Country Inn, named as one of the “South’s Best Inns” by Southern Living Magazine, is a full scale, full-service Inn with 10 guest rooms, an award-winning gourmet restaurant, a riverside cafe and bar, outside dining and ample grounds with 500 feet of uninterrupted access to the Elk River. Guests enjoy the peaceful setting of this up-scale country inn; whether for a romantic getaway, a business retreat, or just for dinner.
Urbanic talked with Jim Matuga, host of The Positively West Virginia Podcast, about her family business, her wonderful workers and her story of how the whole idea became reality.
What is your 30-second pitch for Cafe Cimino?
“I feel like what we do is promote what’s really good about West Virginia. From the food, from the atmosphere, we create for our guests, from our incredible staff who are loving. People get that goodsouthern hospitality with an elevated knowledge of cuisine and the food they are being served,” said Urbanic. “I feel that the guests like that. They are comfortable like they are at a home, but they are dining at the same kind of place you would get in New York City. But it is just in a really laid back place on an estate by the river.”
Tell us about what a guest experience at Cafe Cimino is like.
“What we tell people when they first call is, you park right in front of the house just like you are coming to your relative’s house. Come in the door and a whole wonderful weekend awaits you. You can just unwind, relax and enjoy great food, drinks and service. You know an old school kind of service where someone sees you sitting on the veranda they are going to come over and say, ‘would you like a glass of wine, tea, or coffee.’ You are just seen as a visitor or guest to the home. I can’t really say enough good things about our staff because Tim and I handpicked these staff and they are all local,” said Urbanic.
“Guests sit around on the veranda. They have some drinks, walk around the grounds a little see the reflecting pond and of course, some folks like to go all the way down to the Elk River. It is very accessible, flat water good for kayaking and canoeing. Then, they come to check into their room which we try to make comfortable and relaxing. Of course, a lot of people like the historic quality of the rooms. You just can’t get a house like that anymore.”
How did you get started?
“Tim and I were both in behavioral healthcare. We worked for a behavioral health company and we had pretty high stress but very interesting jobs, working with people with disabilities and having programs for them. We developed our programs around the arts. Both of us have a degree in Art, not Business. We had to leave because the company dissolved and so my husband said ‘let’s open a restaurant.’ So we did!”
Urbanic was a guest on The Positively West Virginia Podcast. Listen to her full podcast here.
PWV QUICK BITS | CAFE CIMINO
- RECOMMENDED BOOK: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
- PIECE OF ADVICE: “You need to be passionate about what you are doing. You know that old saying, find something you love and you’ll never work a day of your life.” Urbanic also advised. “ In the hospitality business, you better be the kind of person that loves people around all the time!”.
- CONTRIBUTION TO SUCCESS: “I talk with my partner. The love of my life, my husband, the chef, and really the heart and soul of our place, Tim, because of his passion for food,” said Urbanic.