Family owned Sam’s Pizza is mainstay of community
One typically associates Canonsburg, Pennsylvania with the big three: Perry Como, Bobby Vinton and Sarris Candies. There is, however, a forth that locals know and have carried with them across the country and in some cases, the world. That institution is Sam’s Pizza.
In business for over fourty-five years, Sam’s Pizza shares the same wall space with neighboring Sarris in East End, Canonsburg. I’m not quite sure if anyone still knows the words to ‘Blue Velvet,’ but I guarantee they’ve had a slice or two of Sam’s pizza in the past twenty years.
Current ownership, David and Kimberly Rhome and Rege and Marti Passante, took over the shop 17 years ago growing it into a Canonsburg mainstay.
“We don’t deliver, so we get to know the customers when they come in,” stated Marti Passante. “We have come to share people’s life cycles through the increases and decreases in the size of their orders.”
On-hand customer, Terry Yost echoed that thought, “Our family has had four generations coming in to get pizza. We started with only a couple pieces and now we are up to a full tray when the family is over.”
When asked why Sam’s Pizza, Ms. Yost replied, “It’s consistent. Always good and I don’t have to cook!”
It’s this kind of interaction that the Rhome and Passante families have built. The two families operate the business themselves with no manger and a total hands-on approach. The core of their business? Customer service.
“We’re only as good as our people and we care about our community. It’s where we work, live and play,” reinforced David Rhome, who is also the town’s Mayor. “Our employees start with us at 15 years of age and work up until they enter college, then come back and pick up hours between semesters. They become part of our family.”
The commitment to community goes far beyond pizza. All money collected in tips goes to charities such as cancer research, feeding the underprivileged and homeless outreach.
Then there’s the pizzas and subs, of course.
Sam’s Pizza has won countless awards over the years including 2008 “Best of Washington County.” The square cuts of Sicilian pizza are old style Italian with ingredients that are never frozen nor recycled.
“We pride ourselves in our homemade sauce and dough which is made daily,” said Kimberly. “We even make our own meatballs.”
The shop has such a loyal following that people even make the trip from out of town with Sam’s being one of the must make stops. There is even a customer who frequents from Florida and calls ahead when landing on the tarmac at Pittsburgh International Airport to ensure his order is ready on arrival.
Additionally, tray of Sam’s Pizza have been shipped across the country and even around the world. Customers can simply call in the order, UPS picks up the pizza(s) and off they go. There is a special process that Owner David Rhome describes as “recook” that ensure the pizza is as fresh as it is coming out of the shop’s ovens when reheated after shipping.
In addition to pizza, Sam’s offers a full variety of subs and beverages on site.
In closing, the next time you hear someone humming ‘Catch a Falling Star,’ ask them if they’ve had a slice of Sam’s. I guarantee they have.
To experience some of the best pizza you’ll ever have, visit Sam’s Pizza at 525 Adams Avenue, Canonsburg, PA 15317, 724-745-9861.
They are also on the web at: samspizzacanonsburg.com
Story by Fred Terling for Pennsylvania Bridges