How Bellissimo Got Started

The owners of Bellissimo Pizza Cafe, Pete, Sr. and Peter, Jr., welcome you.

For those of you who have never visited our pizzeria, we would like to give you a little background and for those of you who have dined with us we thought you might like to know us better.

Pete, Sr. was born in Sicily and along with his parents and 2 younger sisters, emigrated to the U.S. in November, 1954. They settled in the Bronx, NY in the section known as Arthur Avenue or Little Italy. Pete’s first job in while in high school was at a little grocery store. However, before his high school days were over, he had to make a life changing decision. His boss became ill and asked Pete to run the business. Do this meant Pete leaving high school in his senior year, finishing with night classes while running the business during the day. Before long he bought that little grocery store, made some needed changes and ultimately became a successful businessman at the age of 18.

However, that would not last long. In 1965, barely a year after he took over the business, the mailman delivered the “letter with the subway token” attached. Pete, Sr. had been drafted. With no one in his family able to run the business and not enough time to find a buyer, he had to make another life changing decision, he closed the business and went to serve his adopted country. Pete, Sr, served 2 years as a draftee serving 1 year in combat in Vietnam from 1966-1967 in the 2nd of 8th Cav, 1st Air Cav Div.
When he returned home he promptly started searching out businesses he could start up or buy. He found what he was looking for this time in Astoria, Queens. Ten years of continued success. Oh, by the way, he married his high school sweetheart upon returning from the service. In 1971 their son Peter was born.

From Astoria to Bayside, Queens, NY. From Italian deli and grocery he added a pizzeria, catering and Italian restaurant, yet another life changing decision.

A lifetime of experience in food prep, cooking and the satisfaction of thousands of hungry customers.

In 2001, Pete, Sr. and his wife decided to “retire” to Virginia. It did not take long for him to realize that he did not want to sit around, he wanted to cook.

And so when he found a location, he could not have been happier to bring son Peter, Jr. into the business with him. Peter, Jr., has proved to be a great asset to his dad, being just as creative and hard working. He grew up learning the business from Pete, Sr., and he takes pride in every pizza that goes into the oven knowing