Vincent and Tara DiMaio are high school sweethearts turned pizza makers.
In September, this couple became the new owners of the landmark Angela’s Pizzeria in Islip, which had been previously family operated for decades.
But before getting into the pizza business, the husband and wife’s story started in the halls of Islip High School, where they began dating.
Fourteen years of marriage and two children later, Tara combined her business management experience with Vinny’s pizza-making skills to make a lifelong dream into a reality.
“Every year in our life has been an adventure, and this is our biggest one yet,” Tara said.
Tara used to go to Angela’s Pizzeria as a young girl, and Vinny has worked in pizza joints his whole life — practically growing up behind the counter of his Sicilian grandfather’s pizzeria called Bono’s in Bay Shore.
Angela’s Pizza remains at 192 Islip Ave. and still has that hometown charm.
Back in the 1930s, the pizza joint was named Nonna’s Pizza, after the original family’s grandmother, Angela.
Tara said the family found her and Vinny on Facebook to express their gratitude for honoring the family’s legacy in Islip.
Angela’s grandson Sal Governale, a radio personality and producer for the Howard Stern Show, reached out to congratulate the couple on their business.
The original place was an old-fashioned, Italian pizzeria — strictly plain and Sicilians slices, cash-only, and no delivery.
The DiMaios kept that authenticity, like the sauce recipe, and grew from there by adding their own modern spin with their 25 specialty pies.
“We left the name because how could we change something that has been a staple in this community forever,” she said. “We wanted to keep it what it was and bring something new and fun to the table.”
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From the classics like Margherita pizza, Grandma style, and Sicilians, to fried chicken and waffle pies and the “Big Mac” slice, Vinny likes to keep the menu interesting for his customers.
“I grew up in the old school, and learned from the new school,” Vinny said. “I want to be a point of interest for people in the area where they can come to Angela’s and have that ‘wow’ slice.”
Housemade zeppoles, garlic knots, and the “Pizza Zone,” which is a half pizza, half calzone combination with garlic knots in the middle, are some of Vinny’s other creations.
Tara and Vinny are always thinking of what to do next, and Tara says they will make anything the customer is craving.
“He’s the main pizza guy because he wants to be,” Tara said. “He puts his heart into every pizza he makes — you will always have a pizza from Vinny.”
The Islip community has been overwhelmingly positive and welcoming since the new owners took over Angela’s Pizzeria, Vinny says.
“Being here in my hometown, it’s something I’ve dreamt of my whole life,” he said, getting emotional. “Now that I’m here, and having the community behind me, it’s great.”
For updates on what kind of pies Angela’s Pizza is cooking up, visit its Facebook and Instagram pages.
Scroll down for photos of Angela’s Pizza in Islip.