Growing up in Chicago, my Sicilian grandmother, Marianne, lived with us. She was always busy in the kitchen preparing all the family meals. Her old country recipes included regional sauces, exquisite pasta meals, and of course homemade pizza. Her secret was to make everything from scratch, using only the finest ingredients. I was constantly by her side trying to help, or possibly just getting in the way. She was very patient with me, allowing me to learn and do what I could. Family mealtime was an important time of the day. She always said, “Mangia, Mangia” (Italian for eat, eat).
When I was 20 years old, my mother suggested that my sister, Ann, and I open our own pizzeria. Three of my uncles had already opened successful restaurants, so with their guidance, we founded a store in December 1976, at 6821 W. Addison in Chicago. Despite our limited financial resources, we had a lot of ambition. After renovation, we opened our doors on February 7, 1977 under the name “Mangia Pizza”. Beginning as a two-person operation, my sister and I were there every day making and delivering the pizzas ourselves. Ann, who was 22 years old, kept her daytime job to help finance our venture. When she married and moved to Florida in 1981, I purchased her share of Mangia Pizza.
I was blessed to marry my wife Sue in 1982. In January 1986, we moved our operation 4 blocks away to 6944 W. Belmont in Chicago, in an effort to better serve our customers. Sue began operating a second location a year later at 210 Grove Street in Arlington Heights. Wanting to devote more time to raising a family, we sold this location after the birth of our second child in 1989. In 1992, we purchased our current home in Algonquin. Our dream was to own and operate a pizzeria in our own community. After three years of searching, we purchased an already operating pizza business at 5 Hanson Road, and renamed it Sal’s Pizza Company in February of 1996. We brought the same fine quality pizza and Italian dinners to Algonquin from Mangia Pizza. In 1999, we sold the Chicago location because of its distance from our home. With more focus on just the one store, we are determined to make the best pizza in town. Now I get to share my love of cooking with my extended family: my customers.
Sue and I currently have five wonderful children: Joey, Jenna, Jeffrey, James, and Jenelle. They help me stay focused on what life is all about.
From my family and the staff of
Sal’s Pizza Company
Live Well & Eat Well