Written by Chris Boyle, firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 24 January 2014 00:00
Adding a bit of Italian family tradition and taste to the Massapequa area, Leonardo’s Pizza and Restaurant held their grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony on Jan. 14, courtesy of the Massapequa Chamber of Commerce and other assorted local dignitaries.
Located at the former Eric Comfort Shoe Store at 20 Broadway (directly across from the Long Island Rail Road Station), Leonardo’s is the culmination of two families’ dedication to the pizza business, according to Lynbrook resident Domenico Maffei, who co-owns the restaurant with his wife, Linda.“My family has been doing this for my whole entire life,” he said. “I remember being a 5-year-old handing out menus on the corner of 22nd Street and Sixth Avenue...my father had me cleaning tables and all that stuff.”
First opening their doors on Dec. 2, 2013, Leonardo’s, which features a full Italian-style menu, takes its name from Domenico’s father, who owned a successful pizza restaurant in Manhattan for many years; in addition, Linda’s father was also long-standing member in the pizza field.
“In the city, my father-in-law owned his business for nearly 40 years,” Linda said. “My father also owned a pizzeria in Valley Stream since 1974...we’ve been in the pizza business for most of our lives. I guess we were destined to meet, and Leonardo’s is our first joint venture as husband and wife.”
When Domenico’s father retired and left his son the pizza parlor, things became hectic. Due to he and his wife having two children, Linda was unable to come and help, leaving Domenico with a great deal on his plate. The time eventually came when a change of location was needed, he said.
“That was the whole idea...my parents retired and I had the store in the city. After they retired I wanted to come to where my family lived,” he said. “I figured I’d bring the next generation in, my wife and kids...so now that I’m here I love it. The community in Massapequa is great.”
Linda added that having the store close to home not only means a boon to business, but also to family.
“When he was in the city, I wasn’t able to come and help him — we have two kids, ages 11 and 13,” she said. “We decided to come out to Massapequa and look around. We just really loved the town and we have a lot of relatives who live here, so this was the first place we looked for a location to open a business.”
Chamber of Commerce President Patricia Orzano attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony and said that Massapequa newest business had both hard work and determination on their side in their bid to succeed.
“We’d like to welcome Leonardo’s to our community,” she said. “They’ve been planning and building this operation for about a year, and we’re really excited for them. This is a great location, the restaurant is very attractive for dining, and we wish them the best. In fact, we have already scheduled them to cater one of our meetings already.”
Also on-hand to wish Massapequa’s newest business well was Nassau County Legislator Michael Venditto, who sat down after the ribbon-cutting and enjoyed a few slices of the good stuff.
“The Chamber of Commerce does such a great job acting as an intermediary between our local businesses and our local government, so I have to commend all of their efforts,” he said. “It’s always exciting to see quality new businesses setting up shop here in Massapequa...they have a great location, so I’m sure that many of our residents will be frequenting this pizza place, myself included. I wish them the best of luck.”
Linda Maffei summed up why she thinks Leonardo’s will be a boon to the Massapequa community and a tasty destination for lovers of Italian food of all types.
“We use top-of-the-line ingredients, and we try and make sure that our prices are reasonable,” she said.