Address: 919 NW Circle Blvd, Corvallis, OR 97330
Phone number: 541-754-9199
Owners: Ben Sargeant & Eric Pugh
Years in business: 34
Number of employees: 10
Why you should go: They make the best New York style pizza in town!
Cirello’s Pizza has been in business since 1981. They will celebrate their 35th anniversary next year as a local pizza line made with local organic whole wheat flour, cheese, and seasonal toppings. Their restaurant features a long list of specialty pizzas including gluten-free options. Cirello’s also offers a fresh salad bar and microbrews on tap.
Ben, when did you start? I have been with Cirello’s for four years and bought it when the previous owners decided to retire. I have been managing it since January last year. I knew I would regret it if I didn’t do it.
What are your specialties? Our New York style pizza! We have kept the original recipe from the original owner’s Italian mother who lived in New York. Our crust and sauce recipe set us apart from others in Corvallis. Our pizza has been remarkably consistent. We had a customer who moved from Corvallis to Virginia in 1985 and when he returned to Corvallis 27 years later, he was pleased to have the pizza he remembered enjoying!
Sounds like you fill a specific niche in Corvallis then. Yes, our customers think so. Our New York style pizza has drawn in loyal customers over the years. One of our customers told us that they think that we are the only pizza place in the state that uses whole milk mozzarella cheese.
How important is sustainability to you and your business? Sustainability is important to our economy. We recycle as much as we can, and we focus on sourcing our ingredients locally. Most of our ingredients come from Oregon. Our ingredients typically come from 1-2 counties away.
What challenges have you faced as an independent local business owner? Older equipment has given us trouble recently, but fortunately our second oven has just been fixed this week. Maintaining strong visibility can be harder on local business. We have found our connections to the community have helped us maintain a presence. Our advertising is grassroots based — word of mouth from satisfied customers.
Tell us more about your relationship to the community. I’ve been a volunteer throughout my life, and I’ve donated pizza to charities. We have given away pizza and gift certificates to thank volunteers for their service. We want to reward volunteer efforts, since we rely on their efforts to get so much done in our surrounding community.
(Interview and article by Rosalie Bienek – July 5, 2015)
The Local Business of the Week program is designed to help the Corvallis community identify our locally-owned independent businesses by featuring one business each week. The program is part of the Buy Local First campaign co-sponsored by the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition and the Community Independent Business Alliance.