Dawn was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She left Brooklyn at the young age of 16 in pursuit of something more out of life. Even back then she knew she wanted to be part of a community.
Dawn came to Bucks County, Pennsylvania in the late 1980s. Not having a job or a place to live, she had the good fortune to be taken in by the Heath family. Dawn was not a fan of early rising, but she appreciated the place to stay and a job and would get up early and accompany Mr. Heath to open the gas station he owned and still owns today. She learned a lot during that year, but did not learn to embrace waking up early.
Dawn had several jobs before opening Caffe Galleria. She was a courier, which helped satisfy her love of driving. She was also a stained glass artist. She co-owned a shop in New Hope, Pennsylvania creating stained glass windows, jewelry boxes and more. It was there that she felt the need for a place in town where people could come together enjoy a good coffee, each other’s company and art of any kind. She was a person that made things happen and didn’t wait for others so she opened the first Caffe Galleria in New Hope, PA in 1995. She went on to open a location in Penns Purchase, Lahaska, PA, and Lambertville, NJ.
Her ultimate goal was to have a location that was for the community. A place where the community could come to enjoy good food, listen to music, enjoy local artwork and just gather. She was able to accomplish that in November, 2012 when she opened Caffe Galleria at 23 North Union Street in Lambertville, NJ. Dawn was diagnosed with cancer six months after opening this location.
Dawn passed away peacefully the morning of March 14, 2014. She continues to live on in the community she loved so very much when people gather with friends for lunch or celebrate a birthday dinner or listen to local music or enjoy the artwork that hangs on the walls of the place that she put together for them, the community.
Beth worked in the financial industry until early 2008 when the financial market went into a tailspin. Living above City Market in Lambertville, NJ provided what she thought was a temporary position while she found her way back into the financial industry. However, the universe had a different plan and Beth met founder, Dawn Raia who taught her the ins and outs of the restaurant world. It wasn’t long before Beth was handling inventories, placing orders and managing the books for both City Market and Caffe Galleria. When the build out for Caffe Galleria started at North Union Street in Lambertville, her responsibilities at City Market shifted so she could handle multiple responsibilities at both restaurants. Beth currently owns Caffe Galleria and is forever grateful and thankful to Dawn.
Hilary comes to Caffe Galleria with over thirty years of experience in the hotel and restaurant industry. She began her career managing the Fine Dining and Catering Division at Marriott Hotels in Manhattan, NY and later at the Four Seasons in Philadelphia. In 2002, she opened Over the Top Parties, a full service catering business in Bucks County. Six years ago, she re-entered the corporate hospitality world through Starbucks and served as manager at a Bucks County location. It is with great enthusiasm that she has gone back to her first love, the restaurant. She is excited this time to be in a smaller community where she has the opportunity to know everyone’s name.