John grew up in a small town in Sicily. At the very young age of 13, he moved to the United States to get a better education and to live out his “American Dream." In 1974, at the age of 14, John started working at Lenny’s Pizza in Brooklyn. Lenny's was made famous in 1977 by the movie “Saturday Night Fever.” John worked there for 18 months before moving to New Brunswick, NJ where he began working at Filippo’s Pizza for a few years. When he turned 18, John opened his first pizza shop in Richmond, VA — Jojo’s Pizza. From there, he worked in, opened, and operated multiple pizza shops all around the East Coast — including Virginia, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. All of this experience gathered throughout the years can still be seen in the quality of Mario’s food and customer service.
In 1981, John and Tony launched their first pizzeria together in Corey, PA — Giovanni’s Pizza. Although the partners were enjoying success, they preferred to be closer to their family in New York. Drawn to the natural beauty and the proximity to friends and family, they decided to establish themselves in the Lehigh Valley. Again, with Tony as a partner, John purchased Mario’s Pizza in September of 1982.
John and his wife Patricia have three children — Cristina, Stefania, and Giuseppe. They all attended Whitehall High School, and are now well established in careers of their own. Although all three grew up working in the pizza shop, the youngest — Giuseppe — currently maintains a position in Mario’s. Throughout his childhood — and even into his college and corporate years — Giuseppe has dedicated nights and weekends to serving the business and its amazing customers. He has demonstrated the same passion for customer service, quality food, and excellence as his family — and represents the future of this business.