Poverty to Pasta
Meet Trevor. Trevor is the owner of two local artisan pasta restaurants by the name of Trevioli, located in the Columbus, GA area.
Trevioli Artisan Pasta Company, located at 3151 Tower Road, Suite C, Columbus, GA 31909, is known for its modest atmosphere, quality fresh ingredients, and their reasonable prices. It is one of Columbus’ best kept secrets.
Trevor recently opened a second location, Trevioli at the Backwaters on 5171 Highway 219 Fortson, GA 31808, and with summer heating up it’s going to be a “go to” for all us river rats.
I’ve had the honor of becoming acquainted with Trevor and his sweet wife, Brandi, and I can tell you that beyond their remarkable ability and talent to create deliciously authentic cusine, is a couple who is driven by a passionate heart and strong conviction to serve you only the best. This road was a long, hard passage…but one that led to this dream unfolding. Hear his story. Here’s Trevor.
Krissy: Trevor, tell us a little about your story.
Trevor: I was 1 of 5 kids, born into a poor family that moved around a lot. We were not poor because we didn’t have money…we were poor because all that we did have was squandered on my parents’ addictions. Drugs were their favorite child. Mom and my step-dad Randy were addicted to pain killers, and on many days the only meal we got was at school or from the food bank. We never had school supplies and were often the kids you donated to at Christmas. We lived in a bad neighborhood and never really fit in with anyone.
One day Randy started hallucinating and took us all hostage. We sat around him as he had my little brother in his arms with a knife to his throat. We didn’t have a phone, and somehow I managed to sneak out the window and ran a half mile to the nearest neighbor to call the police. They showed up 45 minutes later. Randy had already come down off his high and decided to go to bed. They checked him into a mental health facility where they discovered he was manic depressive schitzophrenic with multiple personalities and a long history of LSD use. He later spoke to mom on the phone and said he was coming to kill us all as soon as he was released.
Then he escaped.
The police showed up and moved us into witness protection, taking us to a safe house in Milledgeville, GA. We were there for about 2 weeks until one day my real dad, who had never been around much or taken an interest up until that point, showed up and took me away. Mom and the kids went to live with my grandmother in Oregon, while I stayed in Chicago.
The next 7 years I went to high school, then attempted college as a depressed teen, while my mom got into meth and other drugs. Before long she was living behind a dumpster and lost all of her teeth. The younger 3 kids went through youth detention centers to foster homes. Mom was incarcerated for a few years and upon being released, started a Christian recovery home business rescuing addicts from the streets, offering them restoration through love and structure within a safe and healthy Christian environment. She now has the largest Christian-based recovery home business on the west coast.
Meanwhile I went to college, only to drop out. Then I went to culinary school…and dropped out…then went to college again…and just couldn’t finish. The doctors diagnosed me with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I just couldn’t seem to concentrate when I needed to, and it felt like an immovable wall between me and what I really wanted. I often felt alienated and alone, like I could not achieve or did not deserve a normal life. I could not step foot inside a trailer. Until I met my wife, I was drowning in alcohol and depression and even tried to end my life several times. That was a pretty dark time for me.
But between meeting Brandi and pursuing cooking, things turned around for the best. Cooking has turned out to be a sort of therapy for me. I do it well, and for a while it seemed to be one of the only things I felt like I was good at. The fact that people like my cooking has really helped.
K: How did you get into the food industry?
T: I entered in when I was 16. I started small, gaining experience with various restaurants. I began at the bottom as a dishwasher, and eventually I worked my way into a general manager position. This time last year, an opportunity came about with Winn Dixie. I was 1 of 3 people chosen in the entire company to interview for the Corporate Chef role. This was a dream. The salary, the benefits, the weekends off. It was a big break. I fasted and prayed for this job. I begged God for this job.
It was the best interview of my life. I wore a $400 suit. I took my long list of achievements, chefs and corporate references that would vouch for me, as well as a slide show illustrating all my glowing culinary accomplishments. As it was coming to a close, the interviewer uttered Matthew 7:7…Ask and it will be given to you. It was at this point that I knew I had the job. I had spent hours studying this verse leading up to the interview. This was my confirmation.
It was a Friday afternoon, just a few days later, when I got the call. Mr. Morris, we appreciate your interest; however, we have decided to go another direction. I couldn’t begin to comprehend what to say. I just melted into the couch. I felt so defeated. It was such an enormous disappointment. One that I’m thankful for now.
K: Is this where Trevioli’s comes into the story?
T: Yes. Soon after, I watched a short documentary on a restaurant in New York called Marea’s where they specialize in making handmade pasta. I had learned to make fresh pasta years ago while working for the Ritz Carlton. The idea began to grow and unfold, so I started selling stuff. I sold my jeep, my motorcycle, my tools, my boat, replacing them with used Craigslist kitchen equipment. We found a small building–really a storage unit–and furnished it slowly with our kitchen gear. I got on my knees in this kitchen and asked God for recipes. Somehow our menu came about, using the most simple and fresh ingredients that people love and appreciate. We opened in February 2014 and have slowly gained popularity through word of mouth and Facebook, and there is always just enough money to pay the bills.
K: What is one thing you’d like for people to know about Trevioli’s?
T: I want people to know this is a humble establishment where we can guarantee fresh, high-end cuisine for a reasonable cost. We never set out to become rich in all this. Without God and the support of my wife, there would not be a Trevioli Artisan Pasta Company…I would not have this position if it weren’t for them. I believe God will always take care of us, but I also believe this restaurant will be used to glorify His name, and He will make it as big or as small as He so desires. Maybe even a ministry. Trevioli Artisan Pasta Ministry…you never know.
Follow them on Facebook here.
*This story was originally published by Krissy Collins on her blog, http://www.krissycollins.com/blog/2014/8/26/awq9q52o3jsdk1046xct8wla6dkdbm and updated to feature Trevor’s newest business on the backwaters.