Dodi DeMutis is a Phoenixville girl, and Bobby Strunk is from Royersford. They were introduced by friends at the Spectator Restaurant & Bar. They just celebrated their 20th anniversary on Sept. 12.
They live on what they call the “farm” west of Phoenixville. There are three Strunk children. It is hard to believe the oldest Bobby is 18 and starting his first year in college. Max is 15 years old, and Lizzy is 10 years old.
Dodi has a degree in business administration from Villanova. Bobby graduated from the Pittsburg Institute of Mortuary Science. As far back as his teens, he found interest in this profession. Dodi suspects the reason his interest was peaked may be due to his Italian heritage on his mother’s side of the family. He remembers during the funeral process, people came together, hugging and loving along with the tears. Then there was the food that everyone contributed. It was a celebration, and anyone who knows Bobby knows he always enjoys a good party.
Dodi, her sister Anne, brother Manny and Dad Manuel make up what is called the DeMutis Group, a driving force in property development in the area. Going back to their grandfather, Manny DeMutis, they were entrepreneurs before the word became fashionable. Together and separately, they all are invested in the community.
Remember the Spectator restaurant where Dodi and Bobby met? Well, it is now the Mainstay under the ownership of Dodi’s dad, Manuel. This property was originally developed and expanded by Betsy DeMutis (Dodi’s mom) before her death.
Involved in the funeral business for many years, the Strunks will be opening R. Strunk Funeral Home in October 2018. The facility is located on Main Street at Second Avenue.
The restoration of the Thomas Bryne Mansion has been a process but well worth the effort and in the capable hands of the company of Raniere & Kerns Associates.
The mansion was built in the 1800s, with an addition added in 1907. This was completed the same year as St. Ann’s Church only a block away on Third Avenue. The funds to construct the church were donated by Thomas F. Bryne in honor of his mother, Ann. Dodi and Bobby feel honored to own and restore one of Phoenixville’s historical jewels.
As the funeral director, Bobby oversees the day-to-day flow of the business. With the business expanding, Cheryl Light, a Phoenixville native, came aboard initially as an administrative assistance and fulfilled a lifetime dream of becoming a funeral director. And may I mention, Bobby’s mom Vera assists as a greeter during viewings and funerals.
About six years ago, Bobby took over cooking dinner for the family. You know what — Dodi doesn’t seem to mind.
Here’s a party favorite ...
4 ripe avocados
1 Tbsp. of grated red onion
¼ cup of small diced red onion
1 large garlic clove minced
1 tsp. of kosher salt
1 tsp. of group pepper
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced into small pieces
Juice of 1 lemon
½ tsp. Frank’s Red Hot hot sauce optional
2-4 Tbsp. of sour cream optional
Cut avocado and remove pits and chop into smaller pieces. Immediately add the remaining ingredients except the sour cream and hot sauce. Use a potato masher to mix ingredients well.
If you are serving a large crowd, you can add 2-4 tablespoons of sour cream to make it go further.
Let Bette hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org. Search YouTube for “Look Who’s Cooking with Bette Banjack,” as well phoenixvillenews.com (search bar: Banjack) for this column. Find Bette on Facebook by searching “Bette Banjack’s Downtown Kitchen.” Her book, “2 Cups of Yesterday,” is available at Gateway Pharmacy or by contacting her.