Over 38 years ago, Paul DeLuisa started working in the pizza business.
Paul was here in Kenosha working for Jim Spata at Valeo’s and there he was inspired by his boss’ hard work, dedication, and consistent drive for success. Paul was so inspired that he decided to move west and start his own pizza place with Luisa’s Pizza Hwy. 50 and 317th Ave. Taking the cues he learned, Paul, with the help of family and friends, began serving great Italian and American food for his customers, and strives to improve every day. Built on the legacy of Paul’s previous employer, along with great family recipes passed down, DeLuisa and his dedicated staff work with the finest ingredients to serve up phenomenal pizza, so much so that they are rated “Best Pizza West of the I” each year for the past 11 years. Although pizza is their specialty as one would expect, their pasta and bombers very popular menu items; and as any good Wisconsin restaurant, they offer up a Friday fish fry which should not be missed. DeLuisa is also very proud of their chef’s award-winning soups. DeLuisa and his crew keep involved in the community by working with several nonprofit organizations.
Paul sat down with us for this exclusive Q&A
Q. Tell us about your first job in the restaurant industry?
A. I was working for Jim and Lyla Spata at Valeo’s. I learned to have a good work ethic from them.
Q. What is your favorite part about owning/running Luisa’s Pizza?
A. Both the employees and customers. I love being my own boss. Every day is a challenge. I like only having to answer to my wife, Jen.
Q. What is the most challenging part of your job?
A. Right now is the employee shortage and the product shortages.
Q. What is the experience like for customer when they come to Luisa’s?
A. They should be greeted by one or more employee. They will be taken care of to the best of our ability.
Q. With the challenges of the current economy, what steps have you taken to continue to drive your business forward?
A. Do our best to keep our ordering tight. Try to make sure that nothing goes to waste. Order smart etc…
Q. What makes your business stand out from others or what is something that makes it particularly unique?
A. We have great employees!! We have a pretty good pizza too.
Q. How do you cope with the everyday pressures of the business?
A. Make it through to closing.
Q. What advice would you give other entrepreneurs/managers/owners that are just starting out?
A. Be prepared to work a bunch when you first start out. When you can afford, find a good manager. I really lucked out with Guy.
Q. What is your most popular menu item?
A. Our award winning pizza!!
Q. What is your personal favorite menu item?
A. I love our pizza and also really love the Chicken Parmigiana
Q. How long have you owned Luisa’s?
A. We have been here 25 years. Starting in June 1996.
Q. How often do you come up with new menu items?
A. We go to food shows and trade shows for the business. Maybe you see something when you are on vacation.
Q. Tell us a little about yourself, what do you like to do for fun when your not at work?
A. Jen and I love to go to the movies. We are big restaurant customers at other places. We will do car rides out in the country with no destination.
Q. What do you love about Kenosha?
A. We are in the county and in the best little town of Wheatland. Just beautiful with great people.
Q. What’s next for you establishment?
A. Keeping it on course to handle the future.
Luisa’s Pizza is located at 6806 317th Avenue Salem, WI 53168
Phone (262) 537-4795
See their full menu at Luisa pizza.co
Q&A & concept by Donny Stancato & Reanna Stockdale
Edited by Jason Hedman
Photos supplied by Luisa’s Social media