Pizza Inn

Through booms and busts, Pizza Inn has continued to innovate, even as its parent company has expanded into the fast-casual segment. Pizza Inn has come a long way since Joe Spillman opened his first location in 1958 across from the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. But the road has been a pretty rough…


Zaffiro’s Pizza & Bar

For a small pizza joint with “no ambience,” this shop ranks among Milwaukee’s most popular pizza spots. Liborio “Bobby” Zaffiro owned a tavern in the Italian section of Milwaukee in 1951—until a road trip to the East with friends revealed pizza’s popularity. “At the time, there was only one other pizza place in Milwaukee,” recalls…


Sammy’s Pizza

Sam and Louise Perrella couldn’t make ends meet in 1954 on Minnesota’s Iron Range—until they discovered the seductive power of pizza. Sammy’s Pizza (, like many other pizzerias, was born of hardship. In 1954, husband-and-wife entrepreneurs Sam and Louise Perrella couldn’t make ends meet with typical jobs, so they decided to open a pizza shop….


Pizza Hut

As co-founders of the world’s no. 1 pizza chain, Frank and Dan Carney forever altered the pizza industry. Then, Frank veered off in a direction that no one was expecting. When Pizza Hut started in 1958, its name aptly fit the 600-square-foot space into which it was crammed. Two brothers, Frank and Dan Carney, started…



Over 50-plus years, Hunt Brothers Pizza has grown from a wholesale pizza route to a c-store powerhouse. In 1962, having grown up working in the restaurant of their father, four brothers—Don, Lonnie, Jim and Charlie Hunt—began a local wholesale food route they named Pepe’s Pizza. At first, they distributed par-baked pizza crusts, dough balls and…



From hardscrabble beginnings to incredible success, this Long Island icon has remained a true family affair for more than 55 years. In 1955, three brothers leased a small burger joint in East Meadow, New York, and Borrelli’s Italian Restaurant  ( was born. Al whipped up Italian cuisine, Phil made pizzas, and Frank waited tables. Though…


Mama Cozza’s Italian Restaurant

Founded by a former beat cop and his wife, this Southern California mainstay has thrilled celebs and civilians alike with its warm, hospitable service and authentic Italian specialties. When he wasn’t working his beat, Frank Cozza, a police officer in Anaheim, California, often spent time in a restaurant called Costello’s in the 1950s, until the…


Augie’s Pizza

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,…

reginas preview image

Regina Pizzeria

The Polcari family segued from grocery store to pizzeria ownership, later making a name for their pizzeria with a 10-story-high banner and curbside service. In 1926, when Regina Pizzeria ( opened its doors in Boston’s residential North End, the founding family bought wine, beer, tomatoes and cheese for the restaurant from the Polcari family, headed…



This entrepreneurial owner transformed $400 and a dream into a pizzeria empire. The year was 1954, and ex-Navy man Buddy LaRosa knew he wanted to start his own business. When he started selling his Aunt Dina’s pizza at church festivals and received an overwhelming response, he put his $400 savings (convincing a few partners to…