Tontitown Community Remembering Life Of Mama Z’s Cafe Owner

TONTITOWN (KFSM) — Tontitown is remembering the life of a founder of a local restaurant.

Edna Zulpo opened Mama Z’s Cafe in 1988, giving the town a taste of her famous homemade pasta.

It’s been a lunch and dinner time favorite ever since.

Her daughter, Julie Zulpo Bowling said she was known for being a people person and making sure there was a seat at the table for everyone.

“She just had a sweetheart and a big heart,” Bowling said. “It just made everyone feel at home, it’s like they were coming home to eat and they would say ‘oh this taste just like grandma’s or this taste just like my moms’ and that just made her feel good because that was her dream to do that.”

Mama Z started the restaurant with her daughter Lisa in 1988. On opening day, there were lines out the door of people waiting to try her famous homemade pasta.

“Of course the pasta was her main thing,” she said. “It was all about the pasta, and she liked making people happy because they were like this is really good pasta because everybody was used to eating store bought pasta and this was homemade, and there’s a big difference, and she knew that.”

Besides feeding the people in Tontitown, Mama Z also loved to sew. She made the quilts that were sold at the Tontitown Grape Festival, with the money being donated to her church.

“She really enjoyed that more than anything she loved to sew and I never did get a chance to learn from her I wasn’t patient enough I’m kinda sad I didn’t get to learn from her she really enjoyed that,” Bowling said.

While Bowling says her family will miss her, she knows the legacy she has created in Tontitown will live on for a long time.

“I was very fortunate to have her as long as we did and I’m very grateful for that, and I think there’s a lot of people she crossed paths with and touched in a very special way and I don’t think she’ll ever be forgotten, and that means a lot to me,” Bowling said.

Bowling said Mama Z was strong in her faith and active member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

If you want to try her famous pasta, you can visit the cafe Tuesday-Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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