Reaping the Rewards

The success this American-Canadian couple has achieved in Puerto Vallarta proves that amazing things can happen when you love what you do, who you do it with, and do it very well indeed. And no one I know has worked harder or smarter over the years than Joe and Claire Guarniere, dedicated to an exciting shared path since marrying here in the ‘80s.

Their business savvy was evident from their first venture, the modestly sized Pizza Joe quickly becoming so popular they moved to a triple lot on what is now prime real estate, Basilio Badillo. Decorating with their personal art collection created quite a stir, Joe a student of art history who roamed Europe’s galleries and museums every chance he got and brought back unique, absolutely beautiful pieces. And as patrons continued commenting on it, the couple recognized they were on to something. So, after seven successful years as restaurateurs, they opened Galleria Dante, a striking combination of original contemporary sculpture and paintings by about a hundred exciting artists, primarily Mexican.

And business has been so brisk that in just the past year alone they have more than doubled their wall space, the gallery now Vallarta’s largest, which Joe credits to “ensuring things make good business sense, doing them step by step, and the fact that art and real estate are the two great investments in this city today.”

“Our home is an extension of the gallery, so we’ve been able to expose our children, Daniela, Marco and Gena, and even our little grandson, Dominic, to outstanding creativity,” Claire adds. “And now that our youngest is studying art and Italian at Vancouver’s UBC, the next time we all go to Italy it’s nice to know that she can be the one guiding us!”