Luna’s Heritage

Originally from Italy, Franco and Carmela Liberta were living in New York with their young family when the health of their children forced them to relocate to Clovis. “We took out a map and looked for places we could move to. Franco came to California to see if was ok for us” Carmela tells, “we fell in love with Clovis on sight” and overcame local prejudice. With a family history of delis and pizzerias, the Liberta’s planned on opening their own restaurant here but were met with sharp criticism from those in the area that they would ‘never make it’. Befriended by distant relations, the Valentino’s from Reedley, Franco & Carmela managed to open in 1969, with no employees and borrowed money for the groceries. They hired a couple of their customers on the spot to begin working that evening. “We worked hard and God blessed our efforts” Carmela shares. The Liberta’s worked throughout the years, involving their children in the process as well. In time they bought the building next door and expanded the restaurant to include another dining area and a banquet room. Many locals had their start working at Luna’s; customers became employees and then became family as no one is a stranger to the Liberta’s.
Following Franco’s untimely death, the tradition continued at Luna’s. Carmela went on without her husband to work with her sons beside her using recipes she learned from her mother, Maria, in the village of Bojano, Compobasso, a province in South Central Italy. Even today, Carmela is still cooking all of their baked goods and, if you are lucky enough, she may even offer to make dinner for you!

Much has changed since those humble beginnings of so many years ago, but the hard work, commitment to quality, and great family recipes have remained. Luna’s is still owned and managed by the Liberta family and their commitment to the fabric of Clovis remains flourishing. Not one to rest for long, Carmela turned her sights to another local business a few years ago. Her daughter Mary Ellen, married to a pastor, moved back to the area as he became the lead pastor of Northpark church. They dreamed of their own shop and soon, Nonnie’s House was born. Carmela, now in her 70’s shares “the restaurant became too hard for me everyday”. Nonnie’s is a full service boutique offering high end fashion at affordable prices.
Known for their warm hospitality and generous nature, Carmela & Mary Ellen offer a full service shopping experience, and will be sure to offer you a cup of coffee and delicious homemade Italian cookies!
Join About Town Taste on their next walking adventure of Old Town as we visit Luna’s and so much more! Our next adventure in Old Town is this weekend so give us a call today and reserve your place.

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