joepizza An Interview with Small Business Owner Joe Fugere of Tutta Bella Pizzeria

Q.  Why did you start your business?

A.  There was an abandoned building available in a neighborhood close to where I grew up. In the 50’s and 60’s, there were large Italian and Irish immigrant populations that lived within a 5 mile radius. I longed for a return of authentic Italian cuisine to this community. My grandmother, Carolina Costanza, had lamented often about how Seattle didn’t really have REAL Italian pizza (she was from Calabria, near Naples, the birthplace of pizza).

Q. How many people does your business currently employ?

A. Currently we employ about 200 hourly staff and 20 salaried managers.

Q.  What is the biggest challenge in running your business?

A.  Building and maintaining a cohesive team while respecting individual styles. We are a business dedicated to promoting personal and professional growth while maintaining a business known for world class food and service. At times, it can be a difficult challenge to balance.

Q.  What motivates you to go to work at your business every morning?

A.  Our stated purpose is “To nourish lives by sharing traditions, authentic food and love.” Seeing my employees live this motivates me on a daily basis. I can hardly wait to get to work every day. Besides, we have some of the best Italian espresso pulled from a Victoria Arduino lever machine, so there is an additional reason to get out of bed!

Q. What do you like about New Jersey?

A. I like everything about New Jersey.

Q.  What are three words that describe you?

A.  Strong, Hardworking, Determine.