If you ask any Italian what they love most about their culture, they will all give you a simple answer. Family, friends, and most famously, the food. The spirit of eating. Recipes and ingredients passed along from generation to generation. The memories made in the kitchen and the love and passion that comes from Italian cuisine.
PizzaVino NoCo Italiano was inspired by just that. A little piece of Italy, brought to Northern Colorado, started by the traditions that were inspired from gathering around the family tables. Well actually, their garages.
Business partners Tom, John, and Jason, shared their love of their Italian roots through friendship, pizza, and plenty of wine. It’s not just about the food, it’s about the art of the ingredients toohe concept behind what was once just a dream between friends, is now PizzaVino.
One of the main ingredients in PizzaVino’s kitchen are the memories. The memories that were made in their childhood kitchens, deeply rooted in the Italian culture and passed down between generations.
“All of us were lucky to have a childhood surrounded by family, friends and food. Growing up in an Italian neighborhood in Ohio, I was spoiled by all the great Italian mothers and special ingredients from Italy. Once you’ve been spoiled by an Italian Mother, you are never the same.” Tom says, with a smile on his face. “My pizza experience started when I was 5 years old - mom and I would make pizza together on Fridays. My dad would take me to his adopted Italian mother’s house, Mrs. Bufalini, and we would sit for hours and eat homemade food. When I grew up, my uncle Leo would let me help him cook pizza for my 30 cousins – needless to say, I learned from a saint.”
John had a similar experience growing up with a passion for authentic italian food, and a mother that brought a piece of Italian traditions to their table. “My mother was 50% Italian, from the Abruzzo area of Italy. As her mom and dad immigrated to America in the 1920’s, they brought Italy to the Midwest. Gathering around the table to make pasta, red sauce, lasagna, and sausage was a weekly tradition. As a kid I remember when mom did not cook, we would search for my dad's favorite food, pizza. His quest to find the best pizza was a mission that still goes on to this day…90 years later. A Chicago native, he knows great pizza!”
Childhood memories of true, Italian style pizza is something special that resonates with Jason. “My love for pizza, family-style and fresh ingredients started when I was a kid making pizza for my parent’s restaurant. My dad was known for his great pizza - thin crust and great ingredients.”
Great pizza was a mission for these three. What was inspired by their upbringing, became a tradition in their neighborhood garages. Taking these memories and reinterpreting them into something magical was a dream that they wanted to share with Northern Colorado.
“Food, family and fun has been a centerpiece of our partnership. We all lived in the same neighborhood in Windsor over 20 years ago. As friendships grew, we learned that each of us had a connection to Italy, great pizza and Italian roots that connected it all.” John reminisced, while Tom added, “We made pizza together for the next 15 plus years, and learned about wine and Italy over the years. About that time I also started making homemade pasta like our Italian mom’s made back home.”
Tom took garage pizza to the next level with the purchase of a portable wood fired pizza oven to make the “old school” version of Neapolitan pizza. “We would roll out the oven, fire up football on the garage TV and make pizza all day and night. One night, after a long day of pizza making, we joked that the next level is to open a restaurant – we all laughed and said, “Yeah, someday”.
“Someday” is now a statement of the past. On October 21st, 2020, PizzaVino will be celebrating their one year anniversary of their grand opening. PizzaVino continues to draw inspiration from both Italy and the garage to bring an experience unlike any other in Northern Colorado
John expressed his excitement for what the future holds for their little piece of Noco Italiano, “The PizzaVino partnership is a continuation of all the family traditions that each of us have lived over the years. Our quest is to provide the best pizza in town, the best Italian food in town and the best wine in town.”
It started with love, and then came the pizza.