The owners of Giannina’s Pizza & Catering joined Rewards Network® with their first restaurant more than 35 years ago making it one of the longest-standing relationships on the program. This wood-fired pizza eatery and catering company was opened in 2014 by the Cicciarella family in Cypress, Texas. To this day, the restaurant is still a family affair with father, Chef Salvatore, and mother/cook, Francesca, working six days a week, eight hours a day to bring real, homemade Italian food to Texas. Along with their two children, Giovanna and Arcangelo, the family enjoys sharing the tastes of Sicily with all their patrons through fresh pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, and more.
The Cicciarella family planted their roots in the restaurant industry in 1967 when Salvatore and Francesca moved from Sicily, Italy to Brooklyn, New York. Then, in 1983 the Cicciarellas made the move to Houston, Texas where they opened their first family restaurant, Luigi’s Ristorante & Pizzeria. The Italian hotspot was so successful that it prompted the family to open two additional locations in 1995 and 2001. Remembering her father teaching her how to “fly” pizza dough when she was only nine years old, Giovanna remarked, “My parents, my brother, and myself have worked together in our restaurants for more than 40 years. We understand the true value of family.”
Specializing in old-style, wood-fired Italian pizza, Giannina’s Pizza & Catering holds a special place in the Cypress community’s heart with some guests dining with the family for more than 30 years. The Cicciarella family doesn’t only give back to their neighbors through their delicious food, they also participate in several local non-profit organizations and host community events. “I have proudly served many in my life and will keep serving as long as the Lord keeps me here,” said Chef Salvatore.
Aside from whipping up fresh homemade pizza dough daily, Giannina’s Pizza & Catering is also busy creating authentic Italian dishes such as bruschetta, meatball parmigiana sandwiches, manicotti, sausage and peppers, and limoncello cake. “We love making people feel at home and serving them a taste of Italy. Meeting so many wonderful guests throughout the years has made us such a close community,” said Giovanna. The wide variety of menu offerings and keen attention to detail employed in all dishes, makes the family-owned restaurant an ideal catering option for any party or event. Plus, they continue to carry on the family legacy by bringing a mobile wood-fired pizza oven from Italy to your home or office that allows up to 200 guests to enjoy all the pizza goodness in your own backyard. The pizzas are always hand-tossed and prepared fresh with custom menus available for everything from antipasti to desserts!
The Cicciarella family is the epitome of resilience having conquered many setbacks during their time in the restaurant industry including multiple hurricanes. In fact, during the deep freeze Texas experienced in 2021, Giannina’s Pizza & Catering was one of the only restaurants open on Barker Cypress Road and was able to feed hundreds of people that didn’t have power by using their wood-fired oven. The biggest test for the family came during the pandemic when Chef Salvatore was hospitalized with COVID-19 and double-ventilated. He was away from his family for 55 days while undergoing intense medical care and receiving a pacemaker. While Francesca remained at her husband’s side, their children took over Giannina’s Pizza & Catering during his absence, ensuring that the thriving business was ready and waiting for his return. “We are so blessed with my father’s presence and we’re thankful to the community for the continuous support,” said Giovanna.
Sharing their time-honored and tested Italian recipes with the local community will always be a passion of Giannina’s Pizza & Catering. Here at Rewards Network, we’re proud to work with restaurants that not only serve up delicious eats, but also contribute to their communities and to their guests’ lives in a deeply meaningful way. Much like their favorite authentic recipes, the Cicciarella family has proven to stand the test of time, no matter what hardships are thrown in their path, and we look forward to working with them for many more years to come.
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