On it, there are hundreds of pictures of women of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds. It’s a wall that owner Julia Hanna refers to as “The Nonna Wall” and it’s full of remarkable women that have worked hard, put their own needs aside in favour of others but may have otherwise not gotten the recognition they deserve.
It was Julia’s own Nonna who inspired her to open her first restaurant in Oakville 38 years ago and it is her memory and spirt Julia celebrates with the pictures of all the Nonnas on that wall. She tells us “I say to people, bring me a picture of that woman in your life”, explaining how the wall became to be. “Now we have over 400 pictures and it will continue to grow.”
Julia is equally as passionate about giving back to her community, including supporting OTMH.
“There isn’t a time that I don’t drive by that hospital that I don’t feel immense gratitude that in our neighbourhood that we have a facility like that,” she said. “Imagine knowing that you have top-rated, state of the art facility that if anyone in your family falls ill, you know you have some place to go. How do you not support that? How do you not give back to that?”
While Julia and her family have donated monetarily over the years, they have also contributed in unique ways, like through her home-cooked food. Once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, Julia is planning on having all the nurses and doctors from the Oakville Hospital to Ritorno for a wine and food night. It is one way that she wants to pay back the dedicated healthcare providers for all of their incredible efforts.
And just like the women on the “Nonna Wall” at Ritorno, Julia is continuing to work hard in her business and in the community of Oakville, finding time to help others who need it most.