Frank Pepe’s Business Principles

1925 Beginning

In 1925 Frank and Filomena Pepe opened their pizzeria on Wooster Street in the Little Italy section of New Haven. Quintessential immigrants with few financial resources, they set out to make a better life for themselves and their community by serving a great product at a fair price.

Over time Pepe earned the moniker “Old Reliable.” The Pepe family made terrific pizza, employed local community members, and fed the neighborhood’s less-fortunate members, often for free.

Continuing The Tradition

Today’s Pepe’s runs its business with the same community ethic, striving to uphold Frank & Filomena’s principles and legacy. We pursue our goal of running an excellent business, and we constantly think about how to better execute on our mission of serving our customers, our teammates (employees), and our owners. This is our North Star: Do everything possible to earn and keep loyal patrons while balancing the needs and wishes of our teammates and family ownership.

Pepe’s believes that if we make great pizza, exceed customer expectations, and take care of our teammates, we will surpass our financial goals and deliver superior returns to those who own equity in the business. We do not believe shareholder gain should be the primary lens for making most decisions. In fact, we strongly believe our way of conducting business — focusing on customer satisfaction and teammate happiness — will result in stronger returns to family ownership over the long run.

The Frank Pepe Mindset

The Pepe’s mindset should not be misconstrued: Profit is good, necessary and integral to our business. Profit enables us to grow our business, serve more communities, offer more people good jobs, and serve great pizza to new patrons.

We invest in our teammates with careful intention. We want all our teammates to turn a job at Pepe’s into a career. Teammates share in at least 25% of our annual profits; receive solid 401k matches; and take continuing education programs at Cornell (100% funded by Pepe’s). Additionally, we offer assistance in home and car ownership in partnership with our bank and we offer excellent healthcare options. And we will soon achieve our goal of paying a living wage to everyone who has dedicated at least three years to our business.

A Training Organization

Our HR & Career Opportunity department helps guide our teammates along their career paths. As a “training organization” our aim is to develop every teammate according to his or her skill set and personal goals. We try our best to hire internally when there is an open job opportunity. Last, we are proud that our staff is diverse and we 100% accept and develop teammates no matter their background.

We are building a culture structured around Accountability and the Golden Rule. We expect promptness, hard work, and responsible and courteous behavior. And we demand everyone treat each other with respect, honesty, fairness and empathy.