Anyone who has ever visited Salumiere Cesario, has likely met Damon Burke.  Damon is the face of the store and the brains behind all of the amazing products within our four walls.  After living in Los Angeles for almost 10 years, Damon left a promising career in film and television to work the grape harvest at Walla Walla’s L’Ecole No. 41. Damon has always had a passion for wine and food and was determined to move his career in this direction.

While Damon was working the harvest in 2003, he made a mental list of everything he couldn’t find in Walla Walla: out-of-area wines, real prosciutto, fine cheeses and fresh artisanal breads. In 2004, Damon went back to work in film for another year… but knew that there was something missing. And then it became clear: he wanted to open a gourmet market in the heart of Walla Walla.

Damon spent the better part of 2005 working as a retail manager in a small wine shop and wine bar while he and his wife, Colby, outlined their business plan.  After the birth of their first daughter, Hayleigh, they put the wheels in motion.  They sold their home in Los Angeles, packed up their family and headed north with their dreams.

Things moved very quickly once they settled in Walla Walla. The location, right downtown in the newly restored Pantorium Building, was the perfect blend of classic Northwest architecture.  In a short four months, they opened the doors of their family business and their dream took off. Damon and his wife, Colby, opened Salumiere Cesario in April 2006 to share products they were passionate about. Salumiere means “grocer” in Italian and Cesario (pronounced CHE-sario) is Damon’s grandmother’s maiden name, chosen as a way to honor her memory.

In 2007, Damon and Colby welcomed their second daughter, Rory, who is the first in her family to be considered a Walla Walla native.  “We have chosen not only to open our business here, but to raise our family here as well.  Walla Walla is our home now.”