Here’s a heartwarming tale for you, folks: A couple in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Jordan and Justin Garton, have decided to name their baby, which is due on December 6, Olivia Garton. Yes, it’s a name that's phonetically similar to Olive Garden, and that’s no accident. The name is inspired by their shared, fierce devotion to the sit-down oasis of unlimited breadsticks.
After thinking aloud about different permutations—Jayden didn’t sound quite right, but they liked the sound of Olive—they settled on naming the lil’ tyke Olivia Garton, finding the pun rather humorous.
The couple, Justin explained to MUNCHIES over email Wednesday morning, first began loving Olive Garden in the fall of 2015, when they were just newlyweds in financial dire straits. It was such a trying period for them that they couldn’t even afford groceries, so they bought the chain's Never Ending Pasta Passes for $100.
"We were a young married couple fresh out of college struggling to figure out how our Theatre and Music degrees where going to pay the bills in Arkansas," Justin wrote MUNCHIES. "Because of those troubles, we ate Olive Garden literally every day during that period and it helped us get by until we were back on our feet. You don't really realize how much you spend on food every week until you have a large time where you aren't paying for it. It was staggering."
Justin explained that the chain became something of a lifeline for the couple in that period. Beyond loving the food, they became friends with the waitstaff. Olive Garden began to feel like home, and, as a result, they both felt they owed the restaurant something in return.
"This is definitely a first that we’ve heard of, and we couldn’t be more thrilled,” Olive Garden spokesperson Jessica Dinon wrote MUNCHIES over email Wednesday morning. Dinon said that the chain had gotten in touch with the Gartons upon hearing the news.
Well, shucks. Looking forward to welcoming you into the world, Olivia Garton.