Starting with one modest location, a former WWII ski paratrooper and his wife crafted a remarkable pizzeria lineage for their family over three generations.
After arriving in the States as a teenager, Augie D’Amicone, raised in the mountainous Abruzzo region of Italy, was drafted for the U.S. Army as part of the 10th Mountain Division, a group of ski paratroopers in World War II. Once back in America, he worked various jobs; a shoemaker by trade, he also made cheese in Middlefield, Ohio, selling his product to Italian importers—including a Mr. Gallucci (for whom Augie also made shoes).
It was Gallucci who, in 1964, helped Augie start up his own pizzeria, Augie’s Pizza (augiescatering.com), in Warrensville Heights, Ohio. Augie and his wife, Mary, developed the recipes from scratch. “In that area, pizza was in its infancy, but he was a stickler for quality, precision and detail,” recalls Daniel Jenks, who co-owns Augie’s with his wife, Deborah (Augie’s daughter, who grew up sleeping in the pizzeria’s booths). “Success was based on word-of-mouth and the quality of the product. And if you met Augie, you loved him. He’d work the ovens and talk to customers with a smile on his face.”
But Augie’s bigger dream was to set up his three daughters with their own pizzerias. Teresa and Tom opened their Maple Heights, Ohio location, Teresa’s Pizza (teresaspizza.com), in 1969; their son took over the business and is now franchising, with 14 stores and growing. In 1977, daughter Pamela and Steve opened an Augie’s in Corry, Pennsylvania. Augie also set up a pizzeria for his brother-in-law Guido.
Even after his death in 1978, Augie’s hard work continued to pay off. Deborah and Daniel operated the original location, while Ohio-based Augie’s locations opened in South Russell in 1981 (now helmed by Deborah’s son Danny); in North Royalton in the early ‘90s (run by Deborah and her son Joseph); and in Independence in 2004 (overseen by a cousin, Ed Pesta). Another of Debbie’s cousins opened Lorenzo’s, while the original Augie’s is now a Teresa’s, run by a nephew. “It’s amazing how all of these pizzerias were made from one man—who died too young, at 57—but he worked seven days a week, with no vacations,” Deborah says. “In this business, you have to work hard, enjoy it and embrace it.”
Though Augie and Mary grew successful businesses with stellar reputations, his progeny learned well his lessons of hard work, dedication and giving back. All of the pizzerias remain active in their communities though work with charities, local sports teams and schools—and through their employees and customers, whom they consider family. “We carry on Augie’s traditions with great pride,” Daniel notes. “When a customer gets his order, one of us is there to make sure it’s done right and talk to the guest. We can’t be perfect, but we want everyone to see we want to be perfect.”
By Tracy Morin
And like her father, Pam always greets you with a smile…. I’m sure their Dad was proud of all of them! We’ll miss you Augie’s!!!☹️
I’m From Corry PA and Augie’s has always been the best. No matter we’re I have gone and I’ve been all over this country. Augie’s has always been the best.
I’m from Corry,pa and Angie’s pizza has always been my favorite and the best pizza in town!
1 year my son who lives in
North Carolina wanted a Auggie pizza for Christmas, will I went to see Pam no problem how she did it was amazing it was delivered on Christmas morning ready to eat. Nothing stops that family. Pam has been my loyal garden club member, she arranged for her staff to keep the Firemen garden watered. No job is to big or to small Pam’s always there.
Augie’s Pizza in Corry, PA wins best pizza anywhere! Augie’s pizza catered my wedding 20 years ago because I love it so & it is simply the best. My dad even brought me a pizza specially made and frozen when he came to visit me in North Carolina one winter. There is nothing like it!
“Pepperoni, mushrooms, and extra cheese!” “This order is for Gray?”
Augie’s in Corry best pizza ever. One of best things I miss after moving to NC. But every time I re-visit Corry it’s a must to grab a pie. Pam has also treated me wonderful. Thank you Augie’s you will be dearly missed. M Maedje.
My family my 3 boys and their wife’s plus now my 12 grandkids, For a total of 20 people all love Augie’s pizza. We get it just about every Sunday night for dinner. We are going to miss them big time.
I grew up on Augie’s and now live in Charlotte NC. When I come home to see family, there is always an Augie’s pizza one during the visit.
We need an Augie’s Pizza in Charlotte!
Love your pizza, Pam
This is such a beautiful story. The Corry branch of the family is truly amazing!
My daughter Kyra Leigh Gray Cook had Augies cater her wedding reception, so her mother made her an apron to cover her wedding dress because she loved it so much that every time she ate it the pepperoni grease would run down her arms off her elbows! We all love it. Thank you Pam and Steve!
What a beautiful story! We love Augies not only for their delicious food but for the wonder family and staff who work there.
The whole Mennen Family is very special to me and my family. When we all had Covid, Pam sent pizzas, pasta, salad, lasagna to the house so we wouldn’t have to worry about cooking. God Bless the Mennens and Augies Pizza of Corry!!!
We love Augie’s pizza, and the many other foods they offered on their catering menu! We used their services for all of my children’s graduation parties, and other events over the years!! You will be missed!!!
Augies is the best pizza anywhere!! I’ve been ordering mine with cheese, pepperoni, onions, green peppers and double banana peppers for 36 years!! This ones for Dietrich!! You will definitely be missed!!
Augie’s is the best!!! Enough said lol no matter what you order.
What a beautiful story and a wonderful family! Never anything less than a fantastic meal. Thank you for your many years of terrific food and amazing service to your customers and community.
Your legacy will always be remembered. When I come back to Corry I always want your pizza and all your smiles. Best luck in the future, thank you for all the years of wonderful food.
Great Story! We grew up on Teresa’s Pizza in Maple hgts. Yummy
Congratulations to the entire Jenks crew! Well deserved acknowledgment and well deserved success. I miss Augies pizza here in Philadelphia!