The pair, along with co-owner Douglas Guzman, opened the original Marsala’s in Huffman in 2015 before expanding to Atascocita with a second location in July 2018.
“I was a kitchen manager at [Hasta La Pasta], and I loved it,” Teresa said. “It’s always been very interesting and very nice.”
Marsala’s offers a variety of Italian dishes made from scratch with fresh ingredients, ranging from the restaurant’s namesake—the marsala chicken—to seafood options like the Salmon Tuscany.
For Teresa, the transition from kitchen manager to co-owner was seamless.
“When we opened the restaurant, I think Isaac and I already had a very good idea of how to manage a restaurant,” Teresa said. “I don’t think that part was difficult at all.”
Despite the smooth opening of the Atascocita location, Teresa said the restaurant was strained during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when businesses throughout the state were forced to restrict operations to halt the spread of the virus.
“It was a tough time,” Teresa said. “We had to close to the public like everybody else. We kept our kitchen staff, and we kept doing to-go and deliveries. We’re still here, so I guess that’s enough.”
Teresa said the co-owners ultimately decided against renewing the Huffman location’s lease in 2020, opting instead to open a new location in Conroe. While Teresa did not rule out the possibility of opening a third location, she noted there are no current plans to expand Marsala’s Italian Grill further.
According to Teresa, Marsala’s operates as more of a mom and pop-style business, which she said she enjoys.
“We have a lot of regulars, a lot of people who know us by name,” she said.
Additionally, Teresa said the restaurant employs many local youth members to help them make a living as they advance through school.
“[We hire] a lot of high school students,” Teresa said, noting most start as hosts or hostesses before working their way through the ranks. “Sometimes, you have three or four that go to college at the same time, so you have to hire new kids and train them.”
Along with feeling like part of the local community, Teresa said she most enjoys watching her customers enjoy a great meal.
“Seeing the customers happy and enjoying it [is the most rewarding part],” she said. “That’s always very nice.”
Marsala’s Italian Grill
5324 Atascocita Road, Ste. J, Atascocita
Hours: Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.