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October 25, 2009 - 1:40pm

Not even fire stopped Pauly's from reaching five-years-in-business milestone

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Pauly's Pizza.

pauly.jpg

You see Pauly Berardini everyplace. His face is on the side of his ubiquitous delivery cars, on the outfield wall at Dwyer Stadium and various youth sports facilities around town.

It’s been that way in Batavia for five years now.

It’s an audacious bit of promotion, but when Berardini and his partner Dave Stupp decided to open up a pizza joint, they knew they would need strong marketing to stand out in a very competitive town for pizzerias.

“I thought about that (the competitive environment),” Berardini said while slathering tomato sauce on a pepperoni pie destined for a youth sporting event. “I thought about the demographic. I just decided to use my face, my talent and go from there.”

He's done other things with his life – from baking to selling cars – but to hear him talk, it’s clear: 40-year-old Pauly Berardini was destined to be a pizza man.

“I went to food service at BOCES and I learned how to frost cakes and make pancakes,” Berardini said. “That wasn’t exciting to me. Ever since I was a little boy, just watching that guy throw a pizza in the air – you know, like a kid wants to be a fireman, he sees the fire trucks, I saw a couple of gentlemen who ended up being good friends of mine kind of teaching me the business, and I just decided it was something I wanted to do.”

Pauly was inspired by the pizza men he saw at the legendary Gino’s Pizza. Gino’s was a mainstay at 102 Liberty St. through the 1960s and 1970s. Then the location became Ficarella’s, where Pauly worked for seven years. And that was the location Pauly chose for his own pizzeria when he and Stupp opened for business Oct. 24, 2004.

By all accounts, the original Pauly’s was a successful, growing company, and then tragedy struck – the kind of turn of events that has put many people out of business – fire.

An early morning blaze on March 21, 2007 destroyed Pauly’s on Liberty. The cause of the fire was never determined, but it meant that three businesses lost their locations. The old place -- behind the former Mother’s Chicken ‘n’ Fish building  -- is now a parking lot. 

Apparently, the two other businesses in that building – Room for Dessert Cafe and Batavia Framing and Design – never reopened.

Berardini and Stupp weren’t going to be kept down, though. Eighty-eight days later, the doors opened at 314 Ellicott St., and this time Pauly's featured seating and a waitress, a level of service the partners had wanted to add all along.

“I had a lot of phone calls and messages that were left on my answering machine from customers and friends encouraging me to get going again,” Pauly said. “Yeah, it was traumatic at first, but when one door closes, another one opens.

"Now we have a great sit-down place here and the parking on the weekends is great. (People can) bring the family, have a party – we have a party of 20 today – sit down is the key.”

Pauly was excited Saturday morning -- not just to be celebrating five years in business – he and Stupp had just received word that they’ve been approved for a beer and wine license and will start serving them within a week.

“Now you can come and enjoy pizza or pasta with beer or wine, and that’s always a plus,” Berardini said.

George Richardson
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Last seen: 8 years 7 months ago
Joined: Dec 10 2008 - 9:33am
If they made it five years without beer and wine the pizza must be really good and this should put them in high cotton. I don't think that phrase is as common in NY as it is in Texas but I'm sure y'all, I mean youse guys, know what I mean. Down with Domino's.
Susan Brownell
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Joined: Jul 5 2008 - 10:24pm
I've never had Pauly's Pizza.. but this article makes me want to go get one! :) Congrats Paul!
C D
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Last seen: 7 years 6 months ago
Joined: Oct 9 2008 - 10:40pm
And they've got the hottest wings. So good.
This is my wife's favorite pizza place.
Mark Potwora
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Joined: May 14 2008 - 6:42pm
Congrats Paulie..I know you'll still be here in another five years..Best Pizza in town...
Karen Miconi
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Last seen: 10 years 1 month ago
Joined: Feb 5 2009 - 4:48pm
We Love Pauly, and his pizza. He makes a gooda sauca!! We ask for a thin crust, and it is always Exellent.
Dave Olsen
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Joined: Oct 12 2008 - 11:48am
I remember Gino's from the 70's when I was in high school, used to go there on Sunday evenings. There was an elderly gentleman who I always assumed was Gino and a younger woman who I assumed was his daughter. Excellent pizza, can anybody shed some light on that? I didn't realize Pauly's was the spin-off, I will now try their pie soon.
Steve Ognibene
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Joined: Jun 24 2008 - 2:27am
Congrats to Pauly's Pizza (pizzaking) on their 5 yr. celebration of business, serving Batavia with delicious food and making a tradition for many more years to come. http://www.paulyspizzabatavia.com/ Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=81122455874&ref=ts Hometown Tradition: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szKczAymS5I

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