AllCommunity NewsMichelle Byrne

Businesses making a DIFFERENCE

I am constantly heartened by the community spirit that so many of our small businesses have. Times are tough but so many are still invested in the community they love and strive to make a difference.

Belmonte Italian Cuisine has been part of the Baulkham Hills community for as long as I can remember, offering pizza and pasta in a cosy Italian themed restaurant with a wonderful welcoming family environment.

Whilst many restaurants have come and gone in the Baulkham Hills Town Centre, Belmonte’s has survived the test of time.

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When I think of Belmonte’s I think of the owner, Tanya Stafa, her love for her restaurant, the community and wanting to create a positive legacy through the pay it forward program. Tanya began her journey at Belmonte’s as an 18-year-old when she first joined the staff as a waitress.

Over the years, no matter how far she travelled around the world, she always returned to her beloved restaurant, hoping one day she would own it. Six years ago, she achieved that dream with encouragement from her dad, who told her she would be successful whatever she chose to do in life.

If you ask Tanya what it is that she loves about Belmonte, she will tell you that it is her second home, a place that has become part of who she is with so many wonderful memories of her family eating at the restaurant and being part of a community over the years.

She will tell you about the amazing customers and watching their kids grow up, their generosity and kindness and their willingness to want to help her and others.

Tanya also has a heart for those in need and is determined to give back. Her drive to help others comes from the help Lion’s once gave to her dad’s family after tragedy struck leaving Tanya’s Grandma to raise six kids alone.

The Lions purchased a house for them to live and looked after them. Tanya is now helping many in our own community impacted by homelessness, severe financial stress and domestic violence through the pay it forward program.

5A848F54 56E9 42069A0D Fa10Bed6759C Copy Businesses Making A DifferenceThrough the program customers donate as little as $8 when they purchase a meal, this money is then used to assist provide a free hot meal for anyone who walks through the door needing help.

Tanya also supports the work of StreetMed by providing hot food for the homeless in North Parramatta and with Ronald McDonald house providing hot meals to seriously ill children and their families.

Tanya encourages those who know someone who is struggling and needs a hot meal to reach out citing that people often are too embarrassed to ask for help or they feel there are people who are far worse off than them. However, she encourages anyone in need to come in for a meal, no question asks.

As Tanya sits in her beloved restaurant and reflects on all she has achieved, she hopes her dad who is no longer here, is watching down on her proudly with “a beer in one hand and a fishing rod in the other smiling”. I have no doubt he is!

To learn more about Belmonte and how you can support the pay it forward program visit

Michelle Byrne Businesses Making A Difference

Michelle Byrne

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