Chef Billy Manzo is an inspirational pizza maker. He takes his craft seriously. He is funny and loves to laugh. He has a unique sense of humor, and he loves making pizza. He believes in using only quality ingredients to make the best possible pizza.
He is also an inspirational story teller. He shared his story during our visit to Federal Hill Pizza in Warren, Rhode Island.
Billy started in the pizza business out of necessity. He owned a Cigar Lounge on Atwells Avenue in Providence for 16 years. Part of of the licensing agreement was that he serve some type of food. He thought about hot dogs and hamburgers, but decided he would do better with pizza. The first day he started he sold 40 pizzas. and thus began his pizza journey! He only did 2 types of pizza, a Margherita and a pepperoni pizza.
The pizzas became a hit. The owner of the Eastside Market in Providence asked if he could sell the pizza dough. He recognized the quality of the pizza dough. Soon other businesses were asking for some of his dough, so he decided to get in the wholesale pizza dough business. Within 6 months Billy was selling his dough to over 200 retail outlets in the state of Rhode Island and part of Massachusetts.
After his daughter was born, he decided to go into a different direction and went into the retail side of the pizza business. He opened his shop, Federal Hill Pizza in Warren.
Billy believes the best route to take for any entrepreneur is simplicity. You need to know the simplicity of where your product comes from and where it is going to the end consumer. Simplicity is the philosophy that drives his business. The is why one of the foundations of his pizza is the Margherita.
As he explains, “you can’t hide from a Margherita”. It is the foundation of his entire menu. While he offers a number of Italian dishes at his pizzeria, he prefers to stick with the basics.
He was laos forht coming on some tips for the home pizza maker.
- Temperature of your oven.
- A pizza stone in your oven and
The patience in working your dough and allowing it to ferment properly is key. You need to let your dough rise for at least 24 hours…
You can watch the entire interview here:
Please make sure you visit Federal Hill Pizza and discover the magic yourself.
Federal Hill Pizza
495 Main St, Warren, RI 02885
Thank you Billy, you are truly amazing!