What year did your business start?
I opened Stella’s Pizzeria with my brother Daniel in October of 2008.
Where are you located and were you always in the same location?
We are located in the Boca Greens Shopping Center on the north end of the plaza (behind The Tire Kingdom). We’ve been in this location since our opening in 2008.
How and why did you get into the business?
I began working in the restaurant business at the age of 17. My mother, Stella, owned Perrini’s Pizzeria and convinced me to start working part-time. I started out washing dishes and after saving up enough money to buy a car, began running deliveries. From there I learned to cook, make pizzas and began managing. After graduating high school I was working full-time while taking classes to pursue a degree in education…And then things got a little crazy.
In 2004, my mother was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma and the future of the restaurant was at best uncertain. I put school on hold and began taking on more of a leadership role. At the age of 22, I decided to become a working partner in order to keep the restaurant open.
Unfortunately, in September of 2008 my mother lost her battle with Myeloma. My brother and I decided to partner together and change the name of the restaurant from Perrini’s to Stella’s. It just seemed like the right thing to do. Since changing the name, the business has grown more than we ever could’ve imagined. We truly are lucky and we owe our success to our amazing staff and even more amazing customers!
How many generations have been running the business?
We are first-generation owner/operators. With my first child due late this March (I can’t even begin to explain how excited I am!!!), who knows…There might just be another generation of Stella’s owner/operators in the making.
Are you known for anything special?
Great question. As far as our menu is concerned, I think it’s fair to assume that aside from our pizza, our homemade meatballs and our crispy Stella’s eggplant are the crowd favorites.
Food aside, I think the thing that sets us apart from other small pizzerias is the fact that we are committed to giving back. We’ve partnered with multiple schools, youth sports teams and non-profits and whenever possible we raffle off/donate pizzas for their events. We also give discounted rates for all schools and non-profits.
What hours are you open?
Our hours of operation are Sunday-Thursday 11:00am – 9:00 pm and on Friday/Saturday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm. If there is an event or special occasion that requires us to open early we always do our best to accommodate.
Are you involved with any community groups?
As I mentioned previously, we work with multiple schools and non-profits. One of the groups we’ve worked with that I’m most proud of is The Camp Shalom campers with special needs. We close down the restaurant for an hour or two and teach the kids how to make their own pizzas! They always have a blast and we look forward to seeing them again.
What do you love most about the business?
What I love most about the business is that we get to interact with some of the most interesting people you’ll ever meet. We have so many regulars that we’ve known for years – we literally consider them family.
What do you think is your biggest challenge with the business?
Our biggest challenge with the business are the ever fluctuating food costs. Being a small, single-unit restaurant makes negotiating with large vendors tough at times. Our relationships with our food reps has been key to our success.
What do you want the community to know about you?
I think what we’d like the community to know about us is that we take pride in what we do. We’re proud of the business we’ve been fortunate enough to build over the years and we pay it forward whenever possible.