Ina Garten gets sentimental about buying Barefoot Contessa 45 years ago: ‘What a journey it’s been’

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Ina Garten is reflecting on a career move that changed her life.

On May 25, the 75-year-old TV host posted a throwback photo on Instagram of the Barefoot Contessa specialty-food shop she purchased in honor of the day she bought it.

“Forty-five years ago today, I left my job working on nuclear energy policy in Washington and bought this tiny 400-square foot store in a town I’d never been to — Westhampton Beach, New York,” she captioned the photo.

Garten recalled how she found herself in the hole financially pretty quickly and how her husband, Jeffrey, braced for the worst.

“At the end of the first day, we had $87 in the register (before expenses!) and Jeffrey said sadly, ‘I don’t think you’ll make it here,’” she wrote. “I think he was really hoping I’d come to my senses and move back to Washington with him. Happily, Friday of Memorial Day weekend was a whole other story.

“Life is all about taking a chance and figuring it out along the way. There have been easy days and tough days but they’ve all been fun and my, what a journey it’s been. Thank you to everyone who has come along for the ride.”

Garten worked in nuclear energy policy in the White House before she purchased Barefoot Contessa. She went on to become a popular Food Network host, earning four Daytime Emmy Awards for hosting “Barefoot Contessa,” and writing several cookbooks.

She has talked about the need to take risks and urged people in their 20s to avoid having goals in their careers.

“The more I’ve grown my business and my career,” she said, “the more I’ve come to believe that goals aren’t always helpful — at least not for me,” she told Time magazine’s Motto website in 2016.

“I think if you set goals, you keep yourself from really interesting sidetracks,” she added.

She also advised women to make their careers messy.

“Complicate your professional life but not your personal life,” she said at the time.

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