Wednesday, December 14, 2011

More than Just the Pizza

By Andrew Romanella

Upon walking into a pizzeria, your senses are immediately engaged by the sights that make your mouth water and the smells that almost create a taste on your tongue. The bustle of workers and customers creates an anxious atmosphere, but with that first bite of pizza with freshly baked crust and a sweet homemade tomato sauce topped with quality mozzarella cheese, you find yourself relaxed and suddenly it’s as if there’s no one else but you and your slice of pizza.

Beyond the sensory appeals and the swirling bustle of the store front, there lies the unnoticed, underrated work that goes into being able to create that delicious slice of pizza. Everyone simply sees the people who give them their order, but never sees the effort that goes into the food they are about to enjoy.

Cascarino’s Pizzeria and Ristorante in Montgomery, NY exemplifies a family-owned, independent, New York state pizzeria that prides itself on quality and customer satisfaction. Co-owner Anthony Cascarino has been managing his family’s restaurant along with his father, Tony, for the past seven years. Within these seven years, Tony and Anthony have endured setbacks and experienced great achievements.

There is much work and struggle that is overlooked in the pizzeria/ restaurant industry, which is brought to life through observation of Cascarino’s.

When asked what some struggles and setbacks are for the business, Anthony replied, “The more money that comes in, means more money being put to bills.” Keeping up with payments and making sure all bills and invoices are paid in a timely manner is difficult, but it’s also hard to maintain the profit and spending balance. Quality product has its price as does labor, and Cascarino’s continues to maintain that standard though it is a complicated struggle.

Owning a business, especially a pizzeria, may seem like a simple project to take on, but there is much more than just knowing how to cook a pizza. As Anthony slices a pizza to go he says, “Owning a business is a 24-seven thing. You have to be constantly focused and if you’re not 100 percent there, it throws the day, month, even the year out of place.”

Next time, when walking into a pizzeria, when you step through those glass doors and take in those intriguing sights and smells, think about the work that went into creating those aromas and hunger provoking sights. Being a small business owner is much more than just ways to make more money and working every day to pay your rent. When you’re a small business owner, it’s about creating relationships with the people you encounter each day. Small businesses seem to run more like a family than a place to make money.

So next time you’re craving that slice of pizza, or that thin crusted pie with all of your favorite toppings on it, come on into Cascarino’s Pizzeria--because you’re guaranteed not only a great slice of pizza, but a great atmosphere as well.

Andrew Romanella is a sophomore at St. Thomas Aquinas College majoring in Communication Arts.

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