Jennie’s Pizzeria Handed Down from Alfonso to Alfonso

By Tracy Morin

In 1918, Neapolitan immigrants Alfonso DeSimone Sr. and his spouse, Assunta, had been incomes native approval with their Savoy Bakery enterprise, operated out of the again of their three-family house in Bridgeport, Connecticut. However they grabbed an opportunity to enter the pizza biz in 1945 when a pal, Jerry Curcurello, who’d opened Jennie’s Pizzeria (named after his spouse) 10 years earlier, supplied to promote to Alfonso Sr.

His son, Alfonso Jr., and his two sons-in-law assumed possession of the pizzeria—and at this time, the third and fourth generations proceed the operation: Al and Richard DeSimone (sons of Alfonso Jr.) and their wives, Regina and Eva, personal the still-thriving enterprise. Their youngsters additionally pitch in to assist with modern-day calls for, like social media and graphic design.

“We’re all bakers, our complete household—we discovered from my grandfather,” says Al, who describes Jennie’s pizzas as a cross between New York and New Haven types. “The unique dough recipe we nonetheless use at this time was the one my grandfather developed again in Italy.”

Jennie’s Pizzeria

Al notes that Jennie’s is now the second-oldest pizzeria in Connecticut and the Seventeenth-oldest within the nation. Because of its enduring success, there have been just a few strikes to broaden operations through the years—three inside Bridgeport earlier than taking its present spot in Monroe in 1998. Jennie’s was once more renovated and expanded in 2021 and now affords a 6,800-square-foot house with a separate room for personal events, plus full bar and lounge.

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“My grandfather had a slogan from his bakery: Style proves high quality,” Al says. “That’s what we’ve adopted ever since. Give ’em a great product and an affordable value, and also you’ll by no means go mistaken. There have to be one thing to it!”

Alfonso Sr. additionally taught the following generations to deal with individuals the way in which they wish to be handled—and that extends to relentless group give-back efforts, in addition to staff and clients. “We take into account a number of our clients like household, and so they take into account us household,” Al says. “That’s how far again it goes—now we have clients now whose mother and father and grandparents took them to Jennie’s after they had been small. We’ve had dishwashers and waitresses work for us 35, 40 years. You don’t discover that within the restaurant enterprise. With us, it’s not concerning the backside line in any respect. When individuals inform us how a lot they take pleasure in our meals, atmosphere and staff, that makes all of it worthwhile. It’s actually near house, near our coronary heart, and we put so much into it.”

Tracy Morin is PMQ’s senior copy editor and the editor of PizzaVegan.com.