By Melissa Shaffer
Richard “Rich” Lanzoni’s health scare five years ago may have been just the jolt he needed to jump start into an earlier “retirement-” owning and managing his own food business.
The 57-year-old entrepreneur and self-taught cook is now happily living his retirement dream as the owner of 3Ds Pizza & Subs, located at 605 Hamlin Highway. Never the type to sit around after 30 years and long hours in the restaurant industry, Lanzoni is used to the demands. But this time, he states: “If I’m going to work 12-14 hours, I’ll do it for myself.”
That doesn’t mean he won’t accept help. The Covington Township resident’s community of friends supported his restaurant dreams through construction, painting and graphic design, which helped launch a successful May 8 grand opening.
3Ds is also family-operated. Lanzoni finds that the true leadership method to working with daughter Larissa and her fiancé Matt, is not much different than other leadership positions: respect. “They have the same goal as I do – to build (and have) a successful restaurant, lasting as long as possible.” Lanzoni’s grandsons, Damian (7 and wanting to “come to work” already), Dominic (4), and Deric (2) inspired the restaurant’s name.
Growing up, the “3Ds” always wanted “Nonni’s pizza.” Lanzoni’s unique “pub-style” (10-inch) pizza is very “kid-friendly.” Sizes run small. Slices prove easy to pick up without leaving pizza stains. The Steak and Cheese, along with the Italian subs, have proven to be two of the most popular menu items. ““I came in 1 day just to make 4 Italian sandwiches for an elderly couple” since they seemed so excited at spotting an authentic-looking menu item, Lanzoni remarked.
Lanzoni’s “big on using the smoker”, which he uses to prepare his own meat. He also orders fresh bread daily from a local bakery. French fries are fresh cut daily and a freezer is non-existent.
What makes this farm-to-table approach so challenging? Seeing into the future. Managing inventory, prepping food, and anticipating and purchasing food for the next day, according to Lanzoni. Since the restaurant is only a month old, it still proves challenging to predict what customers will order the next day.
But Lanzoni’s quick to see beyond the restaurant’s growing pains, focusing on creating more “specials” and pasta dishes in the coming weeks. He’s frequently met with comments about the generous portions of food at a reasonable price point. His response? “It’s white-collar food at a blue-collar price.”
Though the location is ideal for summer tourists and the traffic lights might prove to be valuable marketing, Lanzoni’s goal is “to focus on the locals…I just want to be a part of the community.”
3Ds Pizza & Subs is open Monday-Thursday (10:30 – 8:00) , Friday-Saturday (10:30-9:00), and closed Sundays. They are located at 605 Hamlin Highway (Route 590). Call 689-0700 or contact their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/3-Ds-Deli-Pizza-1366806080046978/?pnref=story.