Local Pizzerias Thrive with Unique Offerings and Community Partnerships

By Sebastian Grewal
Up close and personal with the thick and sweet crust of Pizzamania’s well-respected pepperoni slices.

Three local pizzerias are making waves in the heart of Long Beach with their distinctive offerings and deep community connections. Janneth Perez, owner of Pizzamania, Cameron Fasci, owner of Milana’s Brooklyn Squares and Joaquin Phoenix, the manager of Porky’s Pizza, share their stories of success and unique contributions to the local pizza scene.

Janneth Perez, the proud owner of Pizzamania, spoke passionately about their commitment to serving the community, especially the students and staff of the nearby university. “We offer slices throughout the day for our students and staff that get hungry,” Perez exclaimed. Established in 1985, Pizzamania has been a local staple for decades. However, Perez revealed that they recently took their community involvement to the next level by becoming a vendor for the university.

“Since we became owners in 2021, we’ve noticed a significant increase in customers from the university, including students, staff and even alumni,” Perez shared. Recognizing the demand, Pizzamania decided to partner with the university officially, solidifying their presence in the community. Perez expressed excitement about the new venture, highlighting the mutually beneficial relationship between the pizzeria and the university.

Meanwhile, at Milana’s Brooklyn Squares, Cameron Fasci takes pride in the rich heritage behind their recipes. “A lot of the recipes that we use at both locations are passed down from my great grandfather straight from Palermo, Sicily,” Fasci revealed. One particular combination has become a local sensation – pepperoni, ricotta and honey. “We can’t keep those on the shelves,” Fasci confessed. The unique blend of flavors, a tradition from Palermo, has set Milana’s apart in Long Beach.

Fasci also shared insights into the roots of this popular combo. “The pepperoni, ricotta and honey combination were the first ones that came to Long Beach with that putting honey on pizza,” he explained. The family tradition brought to life in California has become a fan favorite, showcasing the rich history and innovation behind Milana’s Brooklyn Squares.

Over at Porky’s Pizza, manager Joaquin Phoenix highlighted their commitment to handcrafted excellence. “Our specialty is hand-tossed pizza; we make the dough and the sauce in-house,” Phoenix proudly stated. The emphasis on quality extends beyond the kitchen, with Phoenix describing the ambiance as “local-based” and “friendly.” The cozy atmosphere has become a draw for locals seeking exceptional pizza and a welcoming environment.

Carter, another voice from Porky’s Pizza, expressed his enthusiasm for the positive year the pizzeria has had. “It’s been a really great year; we’ve upped our customer retention rate and we’ve kept the quality of our product really high,” Carter shared. Looking forward, he expressed optimism about the future, stating, “But this next year, I imagine it’s going to be as good as this year, if not better.”

In a city filled with diverse culinary options, these pizzerias have managed to carve out their space by blending tradition with innovation. Whether it’s the long-standing history of Pizzamania, the Sicilian influence at Milana’s Brooklyn Squares, or the commitment to quality at Porky’s Pizza, each establishment brings something unique to the Long Beach pizza scene. As these pizzerias continue to thrive, they remain integral parts of the community, serving up slices of joy to locals and visitors alike.

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