From coast to coast, pizzeria operators put everything they have into their signature pies. In this series, Grande features operators and their secrets to success.
Watch how three operators from different parts of the country elevate the idea of an authentic slice shop.
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I started working at the age of 11 in a New York City pizza shop. After attending The Culinary Institute of America, I worked in hotels for 20 years before opening up shop in Rochester. I wanted to bring the same Italian authenticity from New York to the Midwest.
You have to understand what your customers are looking for. Get involved in the community and let people know you're part of it. They’ll come in and try your product. And once they try your product, they’re hooked.
I’d have to go with our Bianca slice. It’s ricotta, mozzarella and fresh garlic. It's one of our most popular. People didn't even know what ricotta was when we introduced it here.
My college buddy Greg and I really missed New York style pizza in New Orleans. So we started a pop up in 2010 out of an old bakery. Through word of mouth, people found out about our New York style pies, and within a few weeks, it blew up.
Instagram is a big thing. We stay pretty active and show the personalities of our staff and some of our ingredients. We're a lot about showing and not telling as much. And we try to be funny, which works (sometimes).
My favorite pizza is our homemade meatball pizza. It's got our sauce, Grande Shredded Mozzarella and then our meatballs with pork and beef and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
My father owned this pizza place and I took it over. I learned more from being here than I did in school. And socialization is part of the process; especially with my employees who are largely responsible for the success of this place.
My dad used to say you can’t specialize in everything. If you do one thing, do it better than anyone else and you’ll have success in New York City.
The regular plain cheese slice. It’s still our best seller and the pie that’s been bringing in customers since 1964. It’s perfectly simple.