Steak salad

Me and Vernona Gourmet

ABOUT Me and Vernona Gourmet

My Dreams โ€“ I, Nikoletta Pongo, emigrated to Florida from my native Hungary in the mid-1990's, with a culinary degree, and dreams of establishing myself here in Bradenton, Riverwalk bustling hospitality community. Some 25 years of hard work and experience later, just such a dream opportunity presented itself to me โ€“ an upcoming location became available on Riverwalk 711 Manatee Ave East, Bradenton


My Passions โ€“ly the finest locally sourced fresh As a lover of the tastes and quality of the Europian style gourmet markets and eateries, I decided to open the only Riverwalk, Bradenton venue to uniquely feature those combined themes of using only ingredients, then sell what I cook, and cook what I sell.


My Branding โ€“ In such a upcoming environment, as Riverwalk authenticity in branding goes hand in hand with perception and passion, thus "What's in a name?", is way more than just a catchy phrase. In fact, my chosen namesake โ”€ Vernona โ”€The El Vernona John Ringling Towers, founded by celebrated fathers John Ringling and Owen Burns, played a significant role in helping Hungarians settle down in the Sarasota, Venice, and Bradenton area. In honor of the Ringling Brothers, the establishment was named Vernona."


Vernona Gourmet โ€“ was born, tying my dreams and passions, to my historical branding. In fact, today, Vernona Gourmet represents special destinations for fun, food, and drink all in one location. 


Hungarian Wine


Hungarian wines are popular worldwide due to their nuance flavors, influenced by the country's unique terroir, climate, and winemaking traditions. Hungary has a rich wine-making history dating back over 1,000 years, producing some of the world's finest wines, including Tokaj.

Fresh Ingredients


At Vernona, we use only fresh, locally sourced ingredients, ensuring flavorful and nutritious dishes that support our community. Our authentic Hungarian taste comes from imported spices blended with our secret ingredients, carefully chosen by our chefs. This unique touch sets our dishes apart and creates an unforgettable culinary experience.



We are proud to support local artists! If you're an artist in our community, bring your artwork to us and we'll display it for everyone to see." 

My Mission and Pledge โ€“ Vernona Gourmet will always provide the very-best quality Foods and Beverages to you, my friends and families of visitors and local residents of the beautiful Bradenton area.