The Tastes of Tradition
Angelo Trodelle knew he would wind up in the pizza business. Living in Boston’s North End for his entire life, Trodelle had worked in a pizzeria since he was a kid. After nearly 40 years of working his way up, Trodelle is now the proud owner of his own pizzeria called Pushcart Pizzeria.
Pushcart Pizzeria opened in 1995, on Salem Street, in the North End, and was the brain child of Trodelle, who learned the trade from his grandfather, Antonio Trodelle.
Antonio lived most of his life in San Mango sul Calore, a small village in the province of Avellino, Italy, where he owned his own pizzeria. After immigrating to America, Antonio continued to work with pizza in the North End.
“[Antonio] taught me how to make dough, make sauce, how to stretch the dough, and the temperatures required,” Angelo said on a recent Friday afternoon. “I always enjoyed cooking and making pizzas.”
Angelo began working by helping his grandfather out whenever he could as a pizzaiolo, which is the Italian term for someone who works in a pizzeria. At the age of 14, Angelo began working in restaurants and pizzerias across the North End, doing any job in the business.
It didn’t take long for Angelo to decide he wanted to open his own pizzeria and after 15 years of planning, Pushcart Pizzeria was born.
The name “Pushcart Pizzeria” has a bit of a story of its own.
“Back in the early ‘20s, they used to store pushcarts in this building and the one next door,” Trodelle said. “We don’t actually deliver with pushcarts.”
And in a trade that has traditionally placed delivery boys at the bottom of the totem pole, Pushcart Pizzeria takes a unique stand.
“Both the manager and the owner deliver,” Trodelle said. “If it’s close enough to walk, I’ll walk, but we drive too. I’ll do whatever it takes.”
“We try to give the best customer service,” manager Roseann Ruzzo said. “We love the store.”
Ruzzo and Trodelle lived on the same street in the North End as children and grew up together. Ruzzo has been a member of Pushcart Pizzeria for nine years.
Together, Trodelle and Ruzzo preach the importance of customer service. The number one goal, Trodelle said, is to make the customer happy.
“[Sometimes] families and kids come in and want a hamburger or pasta or a hot dog,” Trodelle said. “So I get up and go next door [to one of the other restaurants] and bring them whatever they want. We preach service with a smile.”
After starting with a staff completely comprised of family members, Pushcart Pizzeria has expanded to now include ten staff members.
“A lot of hard work went in from me working fifteen hours, seven days a week,” Trodelle said. “Over the years we became popular and added delivery. It took a lot of hard work and dedication.”
During the winter, when the temperatures on the streets of Boston drop well below freezing, much of Pushcart Pizzeria’s business is restricted to locals. But in the spring and summer, the pizzeria is often flooded with tourists and visitors.
“Friday nights are generally the busiest time of the week,” Trodelle. “A lot of people order pizzas on Friday nights.”
In the North End, it’s easy to get lost among the throng of restaurants and pizzerias in “Little Italy”. Pushcart might not have the flashiest sign or the largest dining room, but the service and atmosphere that Trodelle and Ruzzo provide make the pizzeria a must-stop spot. And they make a pretty mean pizza too.