Ina Garten Recalls Thinking That Buying Her First Store Was the ‘Stupidest Thing’ — See Her Amazing Throwback Photo

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The Food Network star bought her Westhampton Beach, N.Y. gourmet food shop in 1978

<p> Ina Garten/Instagram</p> Ina Garten posts throwback photo of her store

Ina Garten/Instagram

Ina Garten posts throwback photo of her store

Ina Garten is celebrating a milestone: 46 years since she bought the store that would launch her brand.

On Monday, May 27, the Food Network star shared a throwback photo of herself from 1978.

In the shot, a 30-year-old Garten is smiling while holding a large seafood dish and while surrounded by an impressive spread of cakes, salads, cheeses and more. Behind her, a shop sign reads “The Barefoot Contessa” and a large window looking inside the store shows shelves stocked with tins, jars and boxes of goodies.

<p>Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty</p> Ina Garten and husband Jeffrey Garten

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Ina Garten and husband Jeffrey Garten

“Forty-six years ago this weekend I bought my first store, Barefoot Contessa. That weekend the original owner, Diana Stratta, and I worked 22-hour days the entire holiday,” Garten wrote of her store, located in Westhampton Beach, N.Y.

She continued, “I remember telling [husband] Jeffrey this may be the stupidest thing I’ve ever done, but it was also so exhilarating. (I guess it turned out okay?) Now when I look back, I think, who was that crazy girl with the curly hair and the gold necklace??”

Garten has previously opened up to PEOPLE about her gourmet food store, which inspired the title for her TV show and 13 cookbooks.

<p> Ina Garten/Instagram</p> Ina Garten's had her West Hampton store for 18 years

Ina Garten/Instagram

Ina Garten's had her West Hampton store for 18 years

In 2016, Garten explained how she had been working as a nuclear policy analyst in the Jimmy Carter administration, but she was ready for a change when she saw a New York Times ad for a business for sale. With the “unbelievable” support from her husband Jeffrey, the pair invested all of their money into the specialty food store.

Related: Ina Garten Demonstrates How to Make Her Famous Flag Cake for Memorial Day Weekend

She inherited the now-household name from the previous owners, who got it from a movie with Ava Gardner and Humphrey Bogart.

After 18 years of serving customers in the Hamptons, Garten sold the shop in 1996 to try her hand at writing a cookbook. Her first cookbook, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, came out in 1999 and by 2002 she had already published two more cookbooks and started filming her Food Network show, Barefoot Contessa.

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