“When I got (to Marietta), I missed my Aurelio’s because I had been eating it since I was 9 years old,” said franchise owner Paul Vitt, who moved to Marietta from Illinois for warmer weather.
In 1959, when Joe Aurelio Jr. opened the first Aurelio’s Pizza on Chicago’s southside in Homewood, Ill., he associated himself with the local Little League. “They used to give out free pizzas for homeruns. I used to be able to take my coupon and walk up to Aurelio’s and enjoy a small cheese sausage pizza all by myself. That was the beginning,” Vitt said. He and his wife, Laura, have four grown children.
Aurelio’s Pizza, originally a four-seat restaurant, was one of the first suburban pizzeria’s that helped launch pizza into American culture. With dedication to family, quality products, and community, Aurelio’s Pizza evolved into a multi-state franchise.
Although Aurelio’s menu features appetizers, salads, pastas and its famous Italian Beef Sandwich, the eatery is best known for its pizza. Aurelio’s keeps its customers coming by back by using only the finest ingredients and baking the pizzas to golden perfection.
“So many people have in their minds that Chicago style means deep dish, when probably 85 percent of the pizza places in the Chicago metro area serve the thin crust. We specialize in thin crust. We call it premium thin crust pizza. Our pizzas are slightly bigger than most of the others. The toppings go right to the edge,” Vitt said.
Vitt said Aurelio’s Fiesta Pizza has 72 pieces of pepperoni.
“They literally touch one another in concentric circles covering the entire pizza. Some other places you might be lucky to find the pepperoni. It’s a premium. You can’t compare it to some of the mega chains because of the amount of toppings and cheese we include,” he said.
Customers, especially those who migrated from the North, travel from all over the metro area for Aurelio’s pizza. “They’re looking for the pizza they grew up with,” he said.
Aurelio’s Cheese and Sausage Pizza made with homemade sausage is the No. 1 seller across the chain.
“All our pizza ingredients get shipped down from Chicago so that the taste is exact. All the people who had it before want that. The Sausage and Cheese Pizza is fantastic,” he said.
Aurelio’s Pizza is at 1255 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta. Call (770) 578-6606 or visit marietta.aureliospizza.com.