Goodfellas Pizza Italian Restaurant
Pizza to Die For!
While the name conjures up sinister images of an ominous underworld, with Donnie Brasco-like characters in the shadows, that mental picture couldn’t be further from reality when it comes to Matamoras, Pennsylvania’s Goodfellas Pizza Italian Restaurant. Encountering Proprietor and Pizza Chef Carl Braunagel gives you quite the opposite impression… a dazzling dining experience—one in which the quality of the food is only enhanced by superior service of a dedicated staff. In fact, it’s a fun-loving place with a mission focused squarely on building a well-fed, satisfied clientele.
Although still in its infancy, having gone into operation this past summer, Goodfellas is making its mark in the community. “Feedback from our growing base of regular customers has been great,” reports Braunagel. “They love the food, and are awed by the attention to detail that our staff provides.” And that’s a good thing for the community, since Goodfellas is steadily building its reputation as a civic-minded establishment—one with a big heart.
“As a family run faith-based organization, we firmly believe everyone deserves a meal,” reports Braunagel, “and we uphold this belief by maintaining strong ties to churches and food pantries.” At the end of each day, the restaurant donates quantities of food product to these services, and they also frequently provide meals to the homeless in the area. “It’s something we consider to be an opportunity to give back to a community that cares about its people.” Braunagel partners with his brother Daniel and brother-in-law Rich Waldron to round out the team. Head Chef Roy Parish assisted in finalizing the existing menus.
The staff at Goodfellas, now including about 20 chefs, counter workers, and servers, takes great pride in creating the best food around. In fact, the tag line on their marketing materials uses the phrase “Pizza to die for,” and customer opinions seem to support that claim. Their menu is well-rounded, though, and it’s not just pizza. For example, their appetizers offer well over a dozen choices, from fried ravioli to fried calamari, with garlic knots, French fries and a sampler basket in between. They offer the traditional antipasto salad along with variety of unique salad blends, and their dinner menu is stuffed with traditional and more exotic options, ranging from several eggplant dishes to a collection of chicken-based dishes, and including the traditional Italian favorites, like baked ziti, spaghetti, and stuffed shells.
And then there are the pasta dishes, complete with penne, angel hair, or traditional spaghetti. Couple that with 18 (at last count) specialty pizzas and the ability to create your own pizza (ranging in size from a 10-inch personal pie to an 18-inch extra-large pie), with about two dozen separate ingredients, and Goodfellas can meet just about any craving. If you’re hosting a group, they also do a 26-inch party pizza that can be customized just about any way you want.
As part of their community ties, Goodfellas works closely with local schools and youth organizations, often providing party-type settings for sports groups, something that Braunagel feels is instrumental in making them an integral part of the neighborhood they serve. “We enjoy making people feel good, and providing good food in an enjoyable setting helps make that happen.”
In getting established, Braunagel and his partners Dan and Rich observe that the biggest challenge Goodfellas faced four months ago was that none of them had ever run a restaurant nor ever made a pizza. So along with Chef Roy Parish, they studied, practiced, and perfected their pizza making skills. Braunagel is actually a pharmacist by trade, so moving into the pizza and Italian food business was a bit of a hurdle. He still operates the pharmacy, though, splitting his time between the two ventures. And even though Goodfellas is a relatively new enterprise, Braunagel is clearly optimistic about the future. “Right now, we’re a single restaurant,” he notes, “but I really believe it won’t be long until we’re one of many.”
AMAC Small Business Solutions is proud to welcome Goodfellas Pizza Italian Restaurant into its family of entrepreneurs!
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