I grew up in Chicago and had my Sicilian grandmother, Marianne living with my family. She had a passion for cooking and was always busy preparing all of the family meals. Her meals included old country recipes with regional sauces, superb pasta dishes, and of course homemade pizza. She prided herself on making everything from scratch, with love, and using only the best ingredients. I loved spending time with her in the kitchen and she was very patient with me, allowing me to learn and help prepare the food. Our family cherished mealtime and loved hearing our grandmother say “Mangia, Mangia”, which means eat, eat in Italian.
At the age of 20, knowing of my passion for cooking, my mother suggested my sister Ann and I open our own pizzeria. My sister was 22. We had three uncles that had already opened and operated three successful restaurants, so with their knowledge and guidance, we founded a store in December 1976 at 6821 W. Addison in Chicago. My sister continued to work during the day to help finance us, and with hard-work and dedication we opened our doors on February 7, 1977 as “Mangia Pizza”, still remembering my grandmother’s words. We began as a two-person operation, my sister and I cooking and delivering the pizzas ourselves. My sister married and moved to Florida in 1981 and I purchased her share of the pizzeria.
I married my beautiful wife, Sue in 1982 and moved our pizzeria to 6944 W. Belmont in Chicago, in an effort to better serve our customers. Sue began operating a second location in 1987 at 210 Grove St. in Arlington Heights, but sold this location after the birth of our second child in 1989 because we wanted to spend more time raising our family. In 1992 we were blessed to purchase our current home in Algonquin and set out to fulfill our dream of owning and operating a pizzeria in our own community. We searched for three years for the perfect place and in February 1996 purchased an operating pizza business at 5 Hanson Rd. and renamed it Sal’s Pizza Company. We brought the same fine quality pizza and Italian dishes to Algonquin from Mangia Pizza. We sold the Chicago location in 1999 because of the distance from home and were able to focus on just one pizzeria, set out to make the best pizza in town.
Our loyal customers continued to grow and compliment us on our food. We became part of the community, helping out in many ways and trying to do our part in making it better. Our customers continued to ask for a dine-in restaurant, a place to come in and enjoy themselves. We began our search for a second location to accommodate these requests. This is where Sal’s Pizza Place was born! We purchased an operating pizza business at 11019 N. Woodstock St. in Huntley and named it Sal’s Pizza Place. Here you can find the same great menu items from Sal’s Pizza Company. Our Huntley location continues to offer pick-up and delivery, but also includes a dine-in restaurant and bar, for our customers looking for a place to come, relax and enjoy our cooking.
Sue and I are truly blessed to have five wonderful children: Joe, Jenna, Jeffrey, James, and Jenelle. They help us stay focused on what’s important in life. Stop in to Sal’s Pizza Place and you are sure to run into them, as they have chosen to help out and make us a family business!
From my family and the staff of Sal’s Pizza Place,
Live and Eat Well