One of the nation’s favorite pizza franchises, Marco’s Pizza, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The Toledo-based company rooted in authenticity and known for using the freshest ingredients has taken the nation by storm with its rapid growth and dedication to communities. The brand celebrated in its hometown on July 24 to reflect on its history and milestones over the last 40 years.
During the brand’s anniversary celebration, Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz presented Marco’s Pizza founder, Pasquale “Pat” Giammarco, with a key to the city honoring his contributions to Toledo over the past 40 years. Pat came to Ohio from Sulmona, Italy with his family at the age of nine and grew up making pizzas with his dad. Years later, he drove through Northwest Ohio and thought to bring an authentic pizzeria to the area. He opened the first Marco’s Pizza in Oregon, Ohio in 1978 and since then the brand has taken off – now operating over 900 stores in 35 states and four countries.
“I am incredibly honored and humbled to receive the key to city. Toledo has given us an unbelievable amount of support and has been a key component in our success—I am proud to call Toledo our home,” said Giammarco. “I never expected the brand to grow as much as it has. We started with one location and began to open more to accommodate people who were traveling long distances to order our pizzas—from there Marco’s Pizza grew rapidly but still remained true to my roots.”
In 2004, when now franchise-owner and CEO Jack Butorac came on board as a consultant, Marco’s had 126 stores across three states and it was the 26th-largest pizza chain in the United States. Today, Marco’s is the seventh-largest pizza chain in the country, and quickly climbing. In April of this year, it opened its 900th store in Puerto Rico. With a new Marco’s store opening on an average every three days, the brand is celebrating its 40th anniversary by recognizing its long history and bright future.
“Celebrating the 40th anniversary is a huge milestone for Marco’s pizza. We have our eyes set on 1,000 locations open and operating by early 2019 and look forward to seeing what the next 40 years has in store,” said Tony Libardi, President and Chief Operating Officer of Marco’s Pizza. “To reach our goals, our energies will focus on growing our people and building future leaders at the corporate and store level, providing a world class guest experience, and offering new franchise owners the support they need to succeed.”
As a national franchise chain founded by a native Italian, Marco’s Pizza has carved out a niche in the industry as the expert in authentic Italian quality pizza. Earlier this year Marco’s launched a new brand promise “Hello Primo” to reinforce its roots and ensure guests can discover “The Italian Way” that shaped the brand into what it is today. Marco’s Pizza’s commitment to its people and authenticity will drive its long-term growth as it continues to expand its footprint nationwide.