The Sicilian family traditions began several years before Lisa and Gianni were even born in a town called Montelepre, Sicily. Population of around 6,200 people where ironically both of their grand parents are from. Their roots started there and have traveled to Grand Rapids where they reside today. Gianni & Lisa met at Central Michigan University in front of the bookstore in 2000.
After Gianni graduated in December of 2002 he pursued a career in sales and landed his first gig at Enterprise-Rent-A-Car. Lisa was finishing up her degree in Business and apparel merchandising and graduated shortly after. Immediately after graduation, Lisa began cosmetology school. They were bound to get married but Gianni played the “five year plan” even though he knew he wouldn’t find any better than Lisa. In 2005 they married and moved to a small house off of Knapp and Dean lake. They instantly fell in love with the rapidly growing area and set out for several vacations before having children.
Gianni pursued pharmaceutical sales and Lisa began a consistent career at AJ Pinder & Co. where she still makes magic happen Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and an every other Saturday. Since 2005 several things happened including a new home and two beautiful children named Gianna (3) and Nico(2). At 13 months apart, Lisa and Gianni have tried to keep up with the demands of being parents, partners, providers, and now business owners.
Gianni is going on 10 years of corporate life and is finally ready to pursue his dream. After several conversations with Lisa about pursuing a restaurant career Lisa finally agreed that it was time. What makes a restaurant different these days and where do you go with so many options?
Gianni will always tell you that it doesn’t get any better than mom’s house. He has been spoiled with traditional dishes all his life so you can’t blame him. Anytime you go to Mamma Licari’s you get put into a food coma and walk out with a to go container, and by marrying a Sicilian girl, the coma continues. The main reason Gianni wanted to pursue a career in the food business was because he really wanted to showcase his mother’s recipes. He wants everyone else to experience what he got everyday growing up and still today from Lisa. Gianni has his own experience working for family and friends in the business but always wanted do it for himself and his family. Several chains do it well but not many places offer a fantastic plate of fresh pasta or pizza. They want to show the community that Sicilian food is different from Italian in many ways.
We are creating a casual, energetic, and affordable neighborhood pizza kitchen conveniently located in Celedon New Town next to the Crushed Grape. It’s airy, easy-going, and our spin on the Sicilian food is as delicious as the atmosphere. Claim a spot in our restaurant and order up some serious pizza, relax with a glass of wine, or perhaps with a bottle of wine from our reasonably priced wine list.