By Jayson Knight
Cameron Wilson opened Emma Elle’s Italian Kitchen, located at 4401 Grant Boulevard, Suite 3 in Yukon, in August of 2022.
“The idea popped in my head in May of 2021, so I’ve been working on it since then,” Cameron said Thursday. “Originally, I was thinking about franchising a restaurant, but I thought we really needed more locally-owned places in this part of the city, so I made the decision to go with an original concept restaurant, and source as much of it locally as we could. We’ve partnered with area businesses as much as we could, including the menu-printing, the desserts, locally-sourced ingredients for our dishes. I think being able to re-invest into the community is very important. I appreciate farmers who work to grow cattle. That’s a tough job and a calling. They take good care of their animals, making sure they’re fed well, and I wanted to be able to partner with them. I believe the closer we can get our food, the better it is for health reasons, the taste, and freshness. I want Emma Elle’s to represent great food, great service, and a great experience for our community.”
Emma Elle’s employs around 30 people. Those people, particularly the cooks, have been trained by professional Italian chefs.
“I’m a big fan of Italian food, and there was an Italian chef whose pizza and table bread I had. I really liked it, and he was able to help us create our pizza dough recipe and table bread recipe. He came to our restaurant and train our staff on how to make that dough the Italian way. It’s really been beneficial from a community standpoint, sharing that story as they try the bread. A number of other people have come in and helped us fine-tune our menu, nail down the recipes, and get it all dialed in.”
To go with the bread, Emma Elle’s flavorful, unique vinaigrette includes oil and a unique balsamic vinegar with roasted garlic chips and Italian seasoning.
While Cameron is a very successful businessman, this is his first foray into restaurant-owning. That is why he has reached out to others to ensure he was providing an authentic Italian experience.
“I’ve had a lot of help along the way to develop the restaurant,” he said. “My background is in commercial construction as a general contractor. I’ve built a number of restaurants, but I’ve never been involved on the ownership side after the fact. I was able to bring in a team of folks to help me execute the restaurant side of things. Our oven is made in Italy. It was made in Naples. It is a Stefano Ferrara oven. It can get up to 900 degrees, and it can cook a pizza in 90 seconds. The fried chicken, we hand-batter that in-house. We batter it and fry it on order, so it comes out super fresh and it’s been a big standout.”
Cameron spoke about the factors that drew him to the location, which is just northeast of the John Kilpatrick Turnpike and Route 66 intersection.
“I was really intrigued by the real estate development that was happening at this intersection the lat few years, and was really impressed with Summer Moon Coffee, which is located right next door to us, and how well they’ve done with their coffee business. It made me think this would be a great place to launch a place like this.”
Emma Elle’s also features lunch specials, such as a 10-inch pizza or lunch-portion pasta plus a side salad and a drink for $14.99. Without the salad, the special is $10.99.
“I think there’s a lot of potential for business lunches here. Thirty to 45 minutes, you’re in and you’re out, and it’s still freshly made just for you.”
For more information about Emma Elle’s, find them on Facebook or give them a call at (405) 870-7211.