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Local Italian Restaurant Supports Education Foundation Endowment

Fredericksburg, TX - May 6, 2024

Local Bella Serra restaurant owners, Ahmet and Fatlume Ukaj know a familiar face when they see one.  Whether it’s in their restaurant on the edge of town, or in the newspaper making a  legacy donation to an endowment. Either way, these local business owners are proud to be the first local business to support the newly founded Fredericksburg ISD Education Foundation Endowment.

Long-time customer and dedicated philanthropist, Mark Przywara, has enjoyed the Pasta Fagioli Soup at Bella Serra since they opened in 2017. “When we read about Marks contribution to Education Foundation’s endowment, we wanted to be a part of supporting FISD because they support our children,” said Fatlume who is mom to a 4th grader at Fredericksburg Elementary and a 1stgrader at Fredericksburg Primary. “We are a mirror for our kids, so we try to teach them to give back to their community by showing our support,” she explained.

Bella Serra Restaurant / Fatlume Ukaj and Mark Przywara

Their restaurant dreams began in 2003 as they helped their family support the Marble Falls location, eventually opening their own location on Highway 16 South in 2017. It’s a family business with roots and recipes from Sicily and Albania. Even as a dedicated small business owner, Fatlume Ukaj makes sure she’s able to support her children in their education. Earlier this year, she watched her 4thgrader take home second place at the Regional Science Fair in Austin representing Fredericksburg Elementary School. “Our kids are the future of our business, our city and our nation. We have to support what they’re learning both at school and at home,” she said.

Bella Serra Restaurant
Bella Serra Restaurant / Owners Ahmet and Fatlume Ukaj

When asked about why they chose to make a $500 donation to the endowment Ahmet Ukaj answered, “Why wouldn’t we support the schools who teach our children and help them grow?” His sentiment is one that is echoed by many throughout Fredericksburg. “Mr. Przywara has been our customer for years and we both support FISD schools in many ways because they are educating our children,” explained Ukaj.

Mr. Przywara is an FISD supporter and community icon who can often be found in the stands at athletic events, attending school board meetings and around town. His commitment to the Fredericksburg ISD Education Foundation as a prior board member and volunteer led him to make the philanthropic move to make the first of five $100,000 gifts to the endowment last month. “We have great students and great teachers and that’s why I decided to establish something that will support public education in Fredericksburg for decades,” said Przywara. His hope is that other citizens and business owners in town will follow Bella Serra’s contribution to the endowment.

Many businesses and residents have supported what the foundation does to support educators and students in  FISD and that number continues to grow. Soon, the Ukaj family will have three children in FISD schools. As both their family and business continue to grow, the Ukaj family continues to serve up some of the best Italian food in the Texas hill country. They’re slated to open an additional Bella Serra location in the Fall at 910 W. Young Street in Llano, Texas. They’re excited to delight the palettes of Llano residents with some of their most delizioso menu favorites including Veal Parmigiana, Mozzarella Caprese and Cannelloni. 

For now, Bella Serra and the Ukaj family are happy supporting the taste buds of their customers and public education for their children. But, the future looks bright for this dedicated and family-owned local restaurant.

For more information on how you can support the Fredericksburg ISD Education Foundation’s Endowment Fund, please call (830) 997-9551 ext. 1098.



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