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The Top 5 Independent Pizzerias in the USA (and their secrets to success…)

Top 5 Indie Pizzerias by Belforno Italian pizza ovens

# inthepizzabusiness

Each year Pizza Today runs a survey to determine the 100 best performing independent pizzerias in the USA based on sales. We’ve profiled the Top 5 that were nominated for 2017 to find out what makes these businesses so successful.

  1. Marion’s Piazza

marions piazzaPrinciple Executive: Roger S. Glass

Location: Dayton, OH

Number of Stores: 9

Gross Sales: $20,937,678

Marion’s has the distinction of serving pizza in Dayton for over 50 years and has ranked first in the nation four times in the Pizza Today survey (2013, 2014, 2016 & 2017). Their secret? Founder Marion Glass’ philosophy: Give each customer the best possible product for the best value.


2. Woodstock’s Pizza

Woodstocks PizzaPrinciple Executive: Jeff Ambrose

Location: San Diego, CA

Number of Stores: 8

Gross Sales: $20,398,809

Chuck Woodstock opened the first Woodstock’s Pizza near Oregon State in Corvallis. Armed with his grandmother’s marinara recipe, Chuck focused on the student market and his goal was to put more toppings on his pizza than any of his competitors. This ensured that customers got a taste of every topping in each bite. Customer loyalty is key to Woodstock’s strategy, but it’s not just loyalty from customers that makes Woodstock’s successful; employees receive stock ownership and all managers are encouraged to become owners.

3. Farrelli’s Pizza

Farrelli's PizzaPrinciple Executive: Jacquelyn Farrell

Location: DuPont, WA

Number of Stores: 8

Gross Sales: $16,101,828

Farrelli’s was established in 1995 by serial entrepreneurs John, Margaret and Jacque Farrell. Two key philosophies make Farrelli’s stand out from the crowd. The first is their philosophy on providing quality – making the best products and delivering them with great customer service. The second is their philosophy on hiring for talent – employees are hired based on the quality of their character and not the quality of their resume.

4. Cane Rosso

Cane_RossoPrinciple Executive: Jay Jerrier

Location: Dallas, TX

Number of Stores: 8

Gross Sales: $15,900,000

Cane Rosso left the corporate world to start his first mobile catering pizzeria after his honeymoon to Italy in 1995. His intention was to replicate true Italian pizza as he had experienced it. So serious was he about being true to the Italian craft of pizza that he trained with Master Pizzaiolos at the Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN). It’s this dedication that sets Cane Rosso apart. Their flour, San Marzano tomatoes and mozzarella are imported from Italy and their dough made fresh each day.  Their pizzas are thin-crust, fired in under 90 seconds at 900 degrees in their specially built wood-fired oven from Italy for a delicate and light, slightly charred dough.

5. Venezia’s NY Style Pizzaria

veneziasPrinciple Executive: Domenick Montanile

Location: Tempe, AZ

Number of Stores: 5

Gross Sales: $15,266,315

The original Venezia’s Pizza was opened in Rio Rancho, New Mexico in 1978 by Frank & Clara Montanile. Venezia’s is a family oriented business with all five restaurants famiglia owned and operated. Their approach is one of treating their employees and customers like family and it’s clearly paying off!


Need to boost your business growth? Download the FREE Pizzeria Business Planning Guide from Belforno

Additional FREE Downloads:
Belforno Wood-Fired Pizza Cookbook
Belforno Perfect Pizza Dough Recipe

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Belforno Wood-Fired Ovens

We are a manufacturer of authentic wood-firedgas and dual fuel ovens that we deliver to you in a ready-to-assemble kit. Belforno ovens are designed in the Italian tradition using only the finest refractory ceramic materials to hold heat for long periods of time and provide superior cooking results. Contact us for more information.