Very Happily Married Interview 5 with The Food Duo


I first met Carlo and Carmella at Vida Vegan Con, where we all went out with friends for a meal at Counter Culture. I knew they were my kind of people when they offered to share their food with me. It was also fun seeing them at Expo West, and getting a chance to get to know them better as we all stayed with our mutual friends, The Gay Vegans (Mike and Dan) during that time. By the end of Expo, we all pretty much felt like family. So, it's my absolute pleasure to share their sweet and fun story with you!

Tess: How and when did you two meet?

Carlo: PRISON!

Carmella: STOP! He’s joking! We were in an AOL chatroom and I sent him an IM, because it was rare to find someone who had similar interests as me! He didn’t reply with “A/S/L?” (age, sex, location?)

Carlo: I almost didn’t answer.

Carmella: Are you glad you did?

Carlo: YUP

Carmella: He said he was going to bed, gave me his number and said to call.

Carlo: Oddly, she called.

Carmella: He didn’t sound weird when he answered. We spoke for an hour. Then, talked on the phone each day and agreed to meet a few days later.


Tess: When did you know it was true love?

Carmella: When he protected me from a wild pack of pigeons in Cooper Square (NYC) on our first date (Just kidding).

Carlo: I was truly upset about a work situation. Carm took the time to comfort me. I think that’s when I knew. If you have to put a time frame, within 6 months of meeting.

Tess: Who proposed and how did that take place? We want to hear all the gushy, romantic details!

Carlo: I did at a local diner using a fortune cookie

Carmella: Right after I spilled barbecue sauce on my jeans!

Carlo: You officially never said “Yes.”

Carmella: YES! I said it now!

Tess: Do you have pet names for each other? Care to share?

Carmella: I’m “Penguin” and Carlo’s “Froggie.”

Carlo: We also call each other “Little.” Carm watched as a horrible cartoon as a kid called “The Littles.” She told me there was a character named “Dinky Little” and I didn’t believe it until she showed me.

Carmella: “We are the Littles…”

Carlo: Even the cats are called “Little.”

Tess: What are your challenges as a couple? How do you work through them?

Carmella: TIME! Finding time for each other between our full-time jobs, our business and other responsibilities. We schedule date nights a few times a month, when we can hang out and not feel the pressure of others. It’s “our time” as a couple. That’s really important to have.

Carlo: That’s pretty accurate.

Tess: What do you love most about your spouse?

Carmella: Carlo’s so funny! When I’m sad, he always tries to cheer me up with funny stories, jokes and dances. He also lets me be myself, even when I drive him crazy.

Carlo: What I love about Carm the most is that she accepts me as I am, warts and all.  

Carmella: You don’t have warts!

Carlo: Metaphorical warts.

Tess: How do you keep your relationship fun and fresh? Do you have date nights or other fun things you do to stay connected?

Carmella: We like to find what’s new! In addition to our date nights, we try to experience new things together from new restaurants to towns we’ve never seen. Weird U.S. exploration is quite fun. We’ve visited a Gingerbread House in NJ and Edgar Allen Poe’s home in the Bronx, NY.

Carlo: We often cook together, which gives us a chance to share events of our days.

Carmella: That’s how we create recipes!

Carlo: We also take long and short road trips whenever possible.


Tess: What do you think the three most important things are in maintaining a loving relationship? 

Carmella: Friendship, trust and silliness.

Carlo: Trust, communication and willingness to have fun.

Tess: Thank you for being vegan rockstars! What are you currently working on? Where can we find out more about what you do?

Carlo: V Marks the Shop is a vegan convenience store. We’re online at We’re working on our move to Philadelphia where we’ll open V Marks the Shop’s storefront.

Carmella: We have a few events lined up this summer from pop-up markets to a chili cook-off in the works.

Carlo: We also have The Food Duo blog and our Twitter chat #VeganFoodChat ( on Wednesdays and Sundays at 8pm ET.

Carmella: We are plugging away with more recipes, reviews, etc. to share

Carlo: I’m on Instagram as @veganenabler. Carm’s @vegangirlnerd and managing the rest of our social media. We’re also bringing back our web series, “What Would Carlo Eat?” on YouTube soon!

Carmella: That means I get to share all of the links. . . 

The Food Duo:

Website –

Facebook –

Twitter –

Instagram –

Pinterest –

V Marks the Shop:


Facebook -

Twitter –

Instagram –

Upcoming Events –

What Would Carlo Eat?

YouTube episodes –

Tess: Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Carmella: I’m a whiz at making vegan drinks on Starbucks’ mobile app!

Carlo: I’m a master jar opener, aka MJO!

Tess: Yay! Thanks so much, Carmella & Carlo for sharing your fun story!! You guys are the best. Everybody, be sure to follow them on their social media to stay connected!