Franchising the Family Business

Small Business Spotlight: Russo’s New York Pizzeria

Who: Anthony Russo, @TheChefRusso

What: A homemade Italian kitchen franchise

When: 1987

Where: Houston, Texas

How: Russo is a first-generation Italian, and grew up cooking with his grandparents in New Jersey. In the late 1970s, his family moved to Galveston, Texas, and his dad opened the first Russo’s Italian Restaurant.  He branched out on his own, opening Anthony’s Pizzeria after high school.

“I worked with a lot of great Italian chefs in my family—everything was handmade,” he said. In 2008, Russo decided to franchise, and today has nearly 30 restaurants from Texas to Tennessee.

Quote from the owner: “That’s where the passion comes in,” Russo said of franchising. “I made a system to take those homemade recipes in each kitchen, so now every store location does that.”

We’re highlighting small businesses from around the country as nominated by you, our readers. If your favorite small business is using Twitter to communicate with customers, let us know about it @fbsmallbiz with the hashtag #mysbc, and it may be featured as an upcoming Small Business Spotlight.