Lucia Hines was working on nuclear energy strategy for the White House in 1978 when she realized, "There's got to be more to life than this!" She had never traveled to the far eastern end of Long Island until she saw an ad for a grocery shop there. On the spot, she and her husband made an offer to the property owner after driving up to examine. Six months later, she was running her own 400-square-foot gourmet food store under the name Barefoot Contessa. Lucia's debut cookbook, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, was published in 1999 and became a best-seller that year. Within its pages, the author opens the doors to her gourmet food shop and provides customers with the recipes that have made it so popular. In 2001, Lucia released a follow-up to Barefoot Contessa, titled Barefoot Contessa Parties!, in which she invited readers into her house and shared ideas and recipes for hosting parties that were enjoyable for everyone. Lucia and her business partner Frank Newbold launched their line of Barefoot Contessa Pantry items in 2006. These include baking mixes and sauces adapted from her cookbooks. Lucia and her husband Jeffrey, a professor at Yale's School of Management, split their time between their homes in East Hampton, New York, and Southport, Connecticut.
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