Celebrating 40 Years | Spinato's Pizzeria

Celebrating 40 Years

Pizza Icon Brought Chicago-Style Recipes to the Phoenix-Area in 1974

Spinato’s Pizzeria, the family owned Chicago-style local pizza chain celebrates its 40th year in business this month. The Phoenix-area favorite has brought their brand of authentic Italian flavors, meticulously perfected recipes and family atmosphere to countless guests along the way, making Spinato’s a local institution.

The Spinato’s story started in 1974, when Ken and Elaine Spinato, with their infant daughter Nicole, moved to the Phoenix-area from Chicago. Ken, a self-proclaimed pizza connoisseur, felt Phoenix was the perfect place, except for one thing: it was missing true Chicago-style pizza. Ken and Elaine set about to change that and Spinato’s Pizzeria was born to satisfy a hole in the market. A year later, the family welcomed their son, Anthony; and Grandma and Grandpa Spinato moved to Phoenix making Spinato’s Pizzeria a real family experience.

“When my parents started out 40 years ago, they worked constantly to create the best, and we kids were right there with them,” explains Vice President Anthony Spinato. “People started asking to take the homemade sauce with them after dinner – the only to-go containers were these little Styrofoam cups. Forty years in, people are still asking to take our sauce home. The sauce hasn’t changed, but the method of transport is a little more sophisticated now.”

Over the years, Spinato’s Pizzeria grew by word-of-mouth.

The Spinato’s Experience, where every customer is treated just like a member of the family, became as legendary as the authentic family recipes Ken and Elaine were serving. In 1986, they opened their Tempe location that had started as a retail production kitchen for personal-sized pizzas to sell in grocery stores and schools. It grew so fast that at times, the family had to seat hungry guests at the family’s office desks located in the warehouse behind the dining room.

Today, Spinato’s Pizzeria has five locations in the Phoenix-area, serving pizza, calzones, pastas, sandwiches, salads and appetizers. The family recipes that guests enjoyed 40 years ago haven’t changed, with the same traditional Italian flavors and authentic taste, and each restaurant is personally overseen by a member of the Spinato’s family.

“It really matters to us that our guests feel as though they’re part of our family,” remarks Anthony Spinato. “We’ve worked hard to make sure that every person who walks through our doors knows that not only are they going to get the absolute best food, but we’re going to welcome them as though we’ve known them for years. With a lot of our customers, that’s actually the case.”

In July, the Spinatos expanded on their successful restaurant concept with Andiamo Market, a quick serve cafe and bakery featuring a variety of hand-made pastries, baked goods and beverages, including a full espresso bar. All of the Andiamo baked goods are made fresh, by hand, each day, and some are created from recipes that have been handed down for generations. Andiamo Market is adjoined to their Central Phoenix Spinato’s restaurant on North 7th Street and Missouri Avenue.

The Spinato family also offers Spinato’s Fine Foods, a line of sauces, dressings and pizzas, all created from authentic Spinato’s recipes and currently available at AJ’s Fine Markets across the Valley. In addition, Spinato’s also provides a true Italian food experience for events of just about any size through its catering department.