It's ALL IN THE STUFFING: The history of Nancy’s Pizza dates back to 1971 when Italian immigrants, Nancy and Rocco Palese, opened their first pizza parlor, Guy’s Pizza, in Chicago. They were known for their thin crust pizza, but as business fluctuated, the Paleses began experimenting. Rather than imitate, Rocco modeled his new pizza creation after a family recipe for ‘scarciedda,’ an Easter specialty cake made by his mother. The end result was the first stuffed pizza in America, which is now a staple in the pizza industry. The invention and success of the stuffed pizza led to the opening of Rocco’s new restaurant in 1974, Nancy’s Pizza in Harwood Heights, IL. This was the first of many Nancy’s Pizza locations.
THE DOUGH KEPT RISING: What began as a family owned sit-down pizzeria, expanded locally through franchising, receiving multiple accolades, including “Best Chicago Pizza” from many local media outlets. In 1990, Dave Howey of Chicago Franchise Systems, Inc., purchased the rights to Nancy’s Pizza after having been a licensee of the brand since 1976. Nancy’s has expanded beyond Chicago to Atlanta and California with multiple new locations on the horizon.