Our Story BEGINS in italy…


My family loves food. That’s why our slogan is “Walker’s like to eat”. But we didn’t just wake up one day and say “WE LOVE FOOD”! No, it is a trait passed down by many of the Walker family members. My grandma, for example, is German and is an amazing cook. When my family travels to Idaho to visit her and my grandpa, she’ll stuff us full! Than on top of a snack, appetizer, AND meal, she’ll feed us a full plate of dessert so you can see where my dad get his spectacular cooking skills. It all started at the original pancake, where my dad spent his young teenage days working as a busser. 

Photograph by:  Kayla Esparza Photography

"Maybe I should go a little farther back down this timeline. My dad was born in Italy. Basically the food capital of the world! He’s lived in Turkey, Germany, Greece and ltaly."

All these places have some background for creating great passionate recipes.Now let’s fast forward. Besides working at the original Pancake House, he worked 13 years for Black Angus, then continued advancing his restaurant career working at Cucina Cucina. 

Ready to venture out on his own, he bought Mama Stortini’s then in it’s original location in University Place. A few years later, an opportunity arose to move Mama Stortini’s to a more adventurous and desirable location in the Puyallup valley. Mama Stortini’s flourished in the valley “With my dad’s capabilities in running a business. But speed bumps and cross roads happened and my dad left Mama Stortini’s. With the encouragement of my family, my mom and God, my dad resiliently poured every bit of his knowledge and expertise of the restaurant business (literally donning a hard hat) into the construction, the backing and the sautéing of what is now “The Flying Tomato”! The best pizza and pasta you’ll find!

After winning three awards from King 5’s “Best of Western Washington” three years in a row (first year: Best New Restaurant, second year: Best Italian, and third year: Placed top 5 Best Italian) my dad was in tears and really credited his whole team. My dad once said “Kayla, when people walk through the door of the Flying Tomato, there really walking into my heart, soul and passion for food”. So then I told him “’The next time you serve someone a plate of lasagna or BBQ chicken pizza, they’re going to remember your life store and how much love it took to get that food on their plate.”