DeliveryRank has the opportunity to chat with Desiree Seghetti, Vice President of Operations for Commellini Estate, a cherished family-owned business that has been an integral part of the Spokane food and event culture since 1941. Situated in the scenic surroundings of North Spokane, this private venue offers six unique indoor and outdoor event spaces to choose from.
The history of Commellini Estates is one rich with family tradition and Italian culture. The series of events that would lead to the creation of Commellini Estates began in 1904, when Albert Commellini first came to the United States at the young age of 13. Albert came from a small town in the Tuscany province of Italy called Staffoli. Upon his arrival, Albert came to Chicago where he found work as first a water boy and then a recruiter for the railroad. He followed his work and the railroad tracks out west, where they eventually led him to Spokane. Albert quickly established himself in Spokane, earning the reputation of an excellent entrepreneur. His business ventures in Spokane were successful and varied.
The time of prohibition provides a backdrop for some of the most colorful tales of Albert’s storied life. For example, during prohibition, Albert found himself in the position of deputy sheriff. It just so happened that the police at that time were concerned with confiscating the illegal contraband. Albert, being the ever thoughtful businessman, saw this confiscation as an opportunity. After the alcohol had made its way to the station, Albert would quietly send his men to acquire and resell the outlawed substance. Albert even took the liberty to use his Italian importing company as a means to import the necessary ingredients for moonshine. Albert found himself under the watchful eye of the law, even being arrested twice in one day. However, he always managed to elude all charges as he kept the records in a place where no policeman could ever find them: his head. Albert never wrote anything down and his great memory served him well. Some have even speculated that Albert operated a Speakeasy in the basement of his South Hill home.
In 1923, Albert’s younger sister arrived in Spokane. Her name was Elide, although in later years, most knew her by her nickname, Leda. She had been sent to Spokane by her father who thought it was about time someone checked on Albert. However, after arriving in Spokane for what was supposed to be just a visit, she decided to stay. In 1938, together they purchased the land on which Commellini Estate currently rests. After they purchased the land, they began building a house on the property which reached completion in 1940. In the beginning, Elide was the only one living in the newly completed house. However, the isolated location far from the city, now known as Dartford Drive, (original US Highway 395) caused Elide to become very lonely. To combat the loneliness and to honor the requests of her previous restaurant customers, she began to throw private parties in the house. It was here that people began to fall in love with Elide and her delicious chicken cacciatore. This gave rise to Commellini’s Restaurant, which officially opened its doors in 1941.
Elide was certainly the heart of Commellini’s restaurant and she always put so much love and care into her cooking. Elide was extremely passionate and particular about the food she served at Commellini’s. This passion even drove her and Albert to open their own chicken ranch behind the restaurant as she was dissatisfied with the quality of chickens found in Spokane and chickens were very limited during World War II. The ranch first opened in 1941, and in the height of its operation had 100,000 chickens in various stages of development. To compliment the ranch, Albert and Elide also operated a slaughter house on the property. This facility would slaughter over 1,000 chickens per day and would then deliver them throughout the Spokane area.
Although Albert and Elide had established a life for themselves in Spokane, they could not help but miss the family they had left in Italy. After Albert extended an invitation to his family to come visit his new home, Albert and Elide’s niece, Gina Bellagamba accepted their offer. Gina arrived on Saint Patrick’s Day in 1950, and planned on staying for six months. She immediately began helping in the restaurant, washing dishes in the kitchen. While she was here, Albert enrolled her in school at Holy Names Academy, where she learned English. What was initially supposed to be a six month visit, turned into a permanent relocation for Gina. When Gina was asked why she decided to stay, she replies laughing, “I never really decided to stay, Grandpa (Albert) never wanted me to go back.” However, Gina did go back in 1954, to visit her family and long time boyfriend, Mauro Seghetti. Soon after Gina returned from her visit to Italy, Mauro made the move to Spokane to be with her. They married in 1956 and had two children, Linda and Robert.
In 1977, a major blow was struck to the well known Commellini’s Restaurant when Elide suffered a severe stroke that left her paralyzed. In the wake of this, Commellini’s closed its doors so that Gina could take care of Elide, which she did for the next nine years. In this initial time of uncertainty, the family debated over what to do with the restaurant. In 1978, the family decided to lease out the restaurant and it had continued to do so up until May 2009.
As of May 2009, Commellini’s has moved back into the hands of the Seghetti Family. It has been a long time dream of the family to rejuvenate Commellini’s to its former grandeur and restore its once rich traditions. Commellini Estate has undergone a venue remodel to build on the rich and colorful history first started by Albert and Elide Commellini.
Upon re-opening Commellini Estate has made a name for itself in the wedding and event world. Offering 6 onsite venues on the nearly 300 acre estate. We have created a space where good food and friendship meet. We provide onsite and offsite catering, both public and private cooking classes, attend multiple local weekly farmers markets with our Italian retail product line. Additionally this year our hope has been to increase public events at the wedding and event venue.
We have been hosting outdoor events this summer including outdoor concerts, and free outdoor movies. The concept is La Scampagnata and it is an Italian saying that means country excursion or picnic in Italian. We have loved being a part of guest big events, but we being more of a part of everyday life is something we value as well.
Speakeasy Supper Club has become a popular feature of Commellini Estate offerings. Fewer than 22 people dine at a large communal table for each reservation time. The menu changes monthly, and typically includes five or six courses.
We’re trying to honor what Leda intended. Her menu was a limited menu, back in the day. We brought back the generational recipes. Leda Commellini was the force behind the original Commellini’s restaurant.
In 2014, Commellini Estate started offering frozen prepared meals. People can call or order online to reserve meals such as chicken cacciatore, eggplant parmesan, and lasagna, which they then either pick up at Commellini Estate or, in the summer, at a local farmer’s market. Prices for frozen meals range from $14 to $22, according to Commellini Estate’s website. Wine, tiramisu, and focaccia bread also are available.
Commellini Estate has been working to grow its off-site catering business, as well.
For those who desire a hands-on experience, Commellini Estate offers both public and private cooking classes in which guests learn to create handmade pasta, ravioli, and gnocchi.
We have grand ambitions and dream of expanding the event space. Our old shop would be a wonderful event space. There’s an old foundation of the building that would be fun to have dinner parties. I’d love to have the old chicken house ... become a shop where different artisans could have something on display.
We are located in North Spokane approximately a 25 minute drive from the international airport but far enough out to feel like you are away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The natural beauty surrounding us is unparalleled. We are in the Dartford Valley with Spring Creek running through a majority of the estate. We have woodland and prairie all around us.
What sets The Commellini Estate apart from other venues in the area is our commitment to preserving history, offering diverse and stunning venue options, and providing a personalized and memorable experience for our clients.
Diverse Venue Options: With six onsite venue locations and over 200 acres of beautiful landscapes, we offer a wide range of options to cater to different preferences and event sizes. Whether you envision an intimate gathering in our enchanting gardens, a cozy celebration in our La Capanna, or a grand affair in our Main Venue, we have a venue that suits your vision.
Natural Beauty: The Commellini Estate's expansive property is adorned with natural beauty, providing a breathtaking backdrop for your event. From rolling hills to serene pond, each view captures the essence of the Pacific Northwest, making it an exceptional choice for those seeking a picturesque setting for their special occasion.
Exquisite Cuisine: Our commitment to excellence extends to our catering services. We take great pride in offering a delectable array of menu options, with a focus on traditional Italian dishes and contemporary culinary delights. Our expert chefs use locally sourced and fresh ingredients, ensuring that every bite is a delight to the palate.
Personalized Service: At The Commellini Estate, we understand that every event is unique, and our team is dedicated to tailoring our services to meet your specific needs. From the moment you reach out to us until the final moments of your event, our experienced staff will be by your side, providing attentive and personalized service to ensure a seamless and stress-free experience.
Attention to Detail: We believe that it's the little things that make a big difference. From beautifully arranged decor to the carefully curated ambiance, we pay attention to every detail, creating an atmosphere that reflects your personality and style.
Cultural Heritage: The Commellini Estate embraces its Italian heritage, infusing events with a touch of Mediterranean elegance and warmth. This cultural essence adds a unique and inviting element to your celebration, setting it apart from other venues in the area.
In summary, The Commellini Estate is more than just a venue; it's an experience that combines historic charm, natural beauty, personalized service, and culinary excellence. Our commitment to creating exceptional memories for our clients sets us apart and makes us an outstanding choice for hosting a wide range of events.
At The Commellini Estate, we take great pride in offering a diverse array of venue options and acres of picturesque surroundings to make your event truly special. We understand that each client has unique needs and preferences, and our dedicated team is committed to helping you choose the perfect venue that aligns with your vision and requirements.
When you embark on your journey with us, we begin by engaging in a personalized consultation with you. During this initial discussion, we take the time to understand the nature of your event, your guest count, and the ambiance you envision. Whether you are planning a wedding, corporate gathering, family celebration, or any other occasion, our team is well-equipped to guide you through the selection process.
One of our key strengths lies in our in-depth knowledge of each venue within The Commellini Estate. Each location offers its unique charm and facilities, and we will provide a comprehensive overview of the features and amenities of each space. Whether you prefer the intimate ambiance of our La Capanna or the elegant setting of our Pond Side gardens, we ensure you have all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Our experienced event planners will also take into consideration practical aspects such as event logistics, accessibility, and seating arrangements to ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience for you and your guests.
Moreover, we are keenly aware of the importance of personal touches that make an event memorable. If you have specific preferences or ideas in mind, we are more than happy to accommodate them. Our team is skilled at tailoring our offerings to match your desires, whether it be customizing the menu to suit your culinary preferences or arranging decor that reflects your unique style.
In summary, at The Commellini Estate, our client's satisfaction is at the heart of everything we do. By combining our extensive venue options, attention to detail, and personalized service, we strive to help you choose the perfect venue that not only suits your specific needs but also creates cherished memories for you and your guests.
At The Commellini Estate, our cooking classes are a delightful and enriching experience for all food enthusiasts and culinary adventurers. Whether you're a beginner looking to learn the basics or an experienced home cook wanting to refine your skills, our cooking classes offer something special for everyone.
Expert Instruction: Our cooking classes are led by experienced and passionate chefs who have a wealth of knowledge in various culinary traditions. They will guide you through each step of the cooking process, sharing valuable tips, techniques, and insights to help you master the art of creating delectable dishes.
Hands-On Learning: We believe that the best way to learn is by doing. During our cooking classes, you'll get hands-on experience in the kitchen, working with high-quality, fresh ingredients to prepare a variety of dishes. From kneading dough to mastering knife skills, you'll gain confidence in your culinary abilities.
Diverse Cuisine: Our cooking classes cover a wide range of cuisines, from traditional Italian fare to contemporary fusion dishes. You'll have the opportunity to explore the flavors of different regions and cultures, expanding your culinary repertoire and discovering new tastes.
Interactive and Social: Our cooking classes are not only educational but also highly interactive and social. You'll have the chance to meet like-minded individuals who share a passion for cooking. It's a fantastic opportunity to make new friends, exchange culinary experiences, and enjoy a fun and engaging atmosphere.
Perfect for Individuals and Groups: Whether you're attending alone or with a group of friends or family, our cooking classes are designed to accommodate all participants. You can join one of our scheduled group classes or inquire about private sessions for a more personalized experience.
Ideal for Special Occasions: Our cooking classes also make for a unique and memorable way to celebrate special occasions. Whether it's a birthday, bridal shower, team-building event, or just a fun outing, our cooking classes offer an unforgettable experience filled with laughter, learning, and fantastic food.
Take Home Recipes: As a memento of your culinary journey, you'll receive printed recipes of the dishes you prepared during the class. This way, you can recreate the magic in your own kitchen and share the culinary delights with your loved ones.
To ensure a personalized and enjoyable experience, our cooking classes typically have limited class sizes. We recommend checking our schedule in advance and reserving your spot early to secure your place. Depending on the structure of the class you are either working inside our commercial kitchen (allowed for parties of 11 guests or less) or within the historic main venue. Here you get a taste of our history and get to work alongside our chefs, physically creating and working with ingredients. At the culmination of the class, you sit own and enjoy a full meal served inside the historic main venue.
As Vice President of Operations at The Commellini Estate, my primary responsibilities revolve around overseeing the seamless execution of all operations and events, ensuring that each guest's experience is nothing short of exceptional.
Event Coordination: One of my main tasks is to lead a dedicated team of event planners and coordinators. We work closely with our clients to understand their unique visions and requirements for their events. From weddings and corporate gatherings to family celebrations, our team meticulously plans each detail, ensuring that every aspect of the event aligns with our clients' preferences and exceeds their expectations.
Venue Management: I also oversee the management of our six onsite venue locations and 200+ acres of estate grounds. Our team ensures that each venue is maintained to the highest standard, creating a picturesque and welcoming setting for our guests' events. We constantly strive to enhance the ambiance and facilities, offering a wide range of options to suit various event styles and sizes.
Culinary Excellence: The Commellini Estate is renowned for its exceptional cuisine. I work closely with our talented chefs and catering team, Lead by Chef Frank Comito, to curate a diverse and delectable menu for each event. Our commitment to using fresh, locally sourced ingredients and culinary expertise ensures that every dish is a delight to the palate, leaving a lasting impression on our guests.
Logistics and Operations: My team and I pay meticulous attention to event logistics and operations. From managing event timelines to coordinating vendor services and guest accommodations, we ensure that everything runs smoothly, allowing our clients to relax and fully immerse themselves in the celebration.
Personalization and Customization: At The Commellini Estate, we understand the importance of personal touches. To create unforgettable experiences, we work closely with our clients to customize every element of their event, from décor, to entertainment and special requests. Each event is a reflection of our clients' unique style and personality.
Continuous Improvement: As Vice President of Operations, I am dedicated to continuous improvement. I work closely with our team to review each event's feedback and identify areas for enhancement. By staying attuned to our clients' needs and industry trends, we ensure that our services remain at the forefront of excellence.
In conclusion, my role at The Commellini Estate is to lead a team of dedicated professionals who are committed to orchestrating meticulously designed and coordinated events. By focusing on personalization, culinary excellence, and guest satisfaction, we aim to create unforgettable experiences that leave a lasting impression on our guests, ensuring that each event hosted at The Commellini Estate is a cherished and cherished memory for years to come.
If you would like to find out more about the Commellini Estate, visit https://commellini.com/