With sale of restaurant, Big Pauly moves on and Cinquino family returns to pizzeria ownership
After 35 years in the pizza business, 15 years as an owner, Paul Berardini, owner of Big Pauly's Pizza in Batavia, has decided it's time to stop tossing dough and do something else with his life.
He's sold his business to his manager, Angela Cinquino. She opens Cinquino Pizza at the same location on Ellicott Street next week.
In a way, the business has come full circle. Berardini's first job was in the pizza shop of Cinquino's father.
"My father had a pizzeria when I was a kid so (the pizza business) is kind of in our family our whole lives and I figured since my father passed away 15 years ago so I could just bring back the tradition," Cinquino said.
At 50 years old, Berardini said he's had enough of the grind of running his own restaurant.
"I haven't had a vacation in three years," Berardini said. "I've worked every night and weekend for 35 years. I have worked on holidays. I've worked Christmas Eve, Super Bowls. It's gonna be nice to just relax."
He said Cinquino is going to do a great job.
"She knows everybody that comes to the door," Bernardini said. "She has her customer base and they love her. They're excited. They're excited for her. ... I think she'll do very well and she will be the second female pizza owner in town. I think that's also good for business, too. You know, as a woman in business, in a pizzeria, it's not a hot dog cart. This is big business."
Cinquino said she's developing her own logo and new signs will be out soon. She's changing the decor of the restaurant but all of the recipes will remain the same. She might expand the menu but nothing will be removed, she said. She's also keeping all of Pauly's staff and she will get more help from her family.
As for Berardini, he'll see what comes next.
"I made it 15 years as a business owner in Batavia I just decided to try something different," Berardini said. "I mean, I obviously have to work. You know, this isn't a Mark Zuckerberg deal where I'm going to make $50 billion. I still have to work. But, you know, this helps me clear up some debt and move on to another chapter of my life."