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Lafayette restaurant wins big money on Food Network show

The owners of a local Lafayette restaurant are walking away $16,000 richer after winning Guy Fieri’s Grocery Games show on the Food Network.

Posted: Jul 29, 2018 11:43 PM
Updated: Jul 30, 2018 10:04 AM

Lafayette, IND (WLFI) - The owners of a local Lafayette restaurant are walking away $16,000 richer after winning Guy Fieri’s Grocery Games show on the Food Network.

Bistro 501 is owned by twin sisters, Theresa and Cheyenne Buckley.

What once was a Piggly Wiggly grocery store, Bistro 501 opened about 20 years ago and the Buckley sisters took over the business about two and a half years ago.

“I started out here at Bistro 501 years ago as a server and I loved it,” said Cheyenne. “I had always wanted to work here.”

And once she got her foot in the door, she slowly worked her way up by helping in the kitchen. She then brought her sister into working at the restaurant.

Cheyenne says she always remembers having a love for cooking.

“My mom always had me helping in the kitchen and I just always had a passion for it,” she said.

And when the restaurant was up for sale, the sisters jumped on the opportunity. Bringing their mom all the way from Vermont to help.

When asked what Mary Buckley’s title was around the restaurant, she said “Mom” with a chuckle. “I’m the Front of House Manager,” she then said.

Mary was the one who took the call from the Food Network.

She recalled that it was a busy Wednesday night when the host came to Mary with a phone call.

“At first I said take a message because I’m on the floor,” she said. “But then the host responded that it was the Food Network.”

That next Monday morning they had a skype interview with the casting director and then two months later they filmed the show, she said.

The Food Network wanted them to fly out on February 11th, which was a bit of a problem.

“Valentine's Day is like our Super Bowl,” said Mary. “So we originally declined.”

But when the Food Network came back with February 7th, they knew this was too great an opportunity to turn down.

“We opened this restaurant two years ago, number one so we could spend time together,” she said. “It’s February and it’s all expenses paid to California, we are going.”

Cheyenne said every little detail, from landing at the airport to visiting San Francisco, had a lasting impact on her.

“Even though we all work (at Bistro 501), it’s usually like ships in the night and we don’t see each other,” she said. “So to have that togetherness and share that moment with them was huge.”

Filming took 16 hours and then they were back on a plane for Indiana before they knew it.

They walked out of filming the show the winners back February, but they had to keep their victory a secret for nearly five months until the episode aired last week.

“We could not tell anyone,” said Mary. “And it was very difficult.”

For Cheyenne, her favorite part of the experience has been seeing friends and family’s reaction to the episode.

“We had people in Texas, we had people in Philadelphia all just texting and messaging me,” she said. “It made me feel so close to people, and it was just like winning all over again.”

The episode aired on Wednesday, July 25th. This also happened to be the day Theresa gave birth to Eda Marie.

“People were congratulating us and we would say for which one, the show or the baby?” said proud Grandma Mary.

The Buckley’s walked away with $16,000 from the show, which they split three ways.

Some of the money is going towards a nursery. Some is going into a college fund for Cheyenne’s daughter. Some is going towards renovating the bathrooms of the restaurant. Mary hopes to buy some land.

Cheyenne says the stress and excitement of going through the show was worth it to have some weight lifted off her shoulders now.

“With the family growing, we have new baby Eda and Sophia my daughter,” said Cheyenne. “And we have Dominic on the way. September 10th another addition is coming so it really comes in handy managing the stresses of my outside life.”

But they didn’t just do the show for their own benefit, they did it knowing it would help the city of Lafayette in the long run too.

“People will make their vacations around Food Network shows,” said Mary. “So this is huge for Lafayette.”

Click here to learn more about Bistro 501.

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