Karen Scott-Fulchini, owner of Baci Trattoria on 14th Avenue in downtown Vero Beach, is passionate about her life right now. Her restaurant, serving breakfast and lunch seven days a week, is known for offering one of the best breakfasts in town and has become the go-to place for brunch after church on Sundays. Fulchini’s enthusiasm comes from combining the three things that inspire her the most – food, family and design – into one business she is proud to call her own. "I love people and I love life," she tells me.
Born in New Jersey to an Italian mother and Scottish father, Fulchini and her family moved to South Florida in 1970 where her father owned motels, and her mother ran a catering business. Fulchini's proclivity, however, was design. "I'm an artist," she says emphatically. "I painted watercolors, but as my mom used to tell me, you have to figure out how you are going to make money, too." So she attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and translated her talents into graphic design, going on to own a design studio where she worked with developers, hotels and country clubs.
Then in 1984, she met a friend of her brother's who was working for the family's car dealership. "I swore I would never date or marry anybody who was Italian or in the car business because we had a family rule," she tells me. "You don't date your brother's friends or anybody that worked for your family and Jerry did both!” They married in 1986.