Fair Haven Pizza, Subs still going strong

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Photo by Doug La Rocque. Francesco Spallieri, who co-owns Fair Haven Pizza and Subs with his mother Lucy, stands in front of one of the restaurant’s pizza ovens.

The pizza business has not changed much over 40 years. After all, “a pizza is a pizza.”

That is what Fair Haven Pizza and Subs co-owner Lucy Spallieri tells NYVT Media as she talks about the business and how it has managed to be part of the Fair Haven community since she and her late husband Luigi first opened their doors.

What has changed is the menu. They now offer dinners, salads and calzones to name just a few of the selections available. Adapting with the times is how she puts it.

Staying Power

In any city, town or village one can see pizza shops open and pizza shops close. So, what is the secret to their staying power?

“It’s family.” She and her son Francesco co-own the shop and do most of the work with a little outside help.

Spallieri also says be realistic. Understand you must have dedication to your business and “you are not going to strike it rich overnight.” In fact, if you work hard, you can make a living, but you will probably never become a millionaire in the pizza business.

COVID-19 was a challenge

To say the pandemic forced many businesses to re-think how they did things is a bit over an understatement. Fair Haven Pizza and Subs fell into that category as well.

Spallieri said the first three weeks were the worst, having to serve at the door and getting the word out about take-out. She says once people realized they were still open and serving their regular menu, customers came back, again and again.

Now that pandemic restrictions have been lifted, she says they are back to normal.

“We are doing OK,” she said.

It’s also “OK” to drop by this iconic piece of Fair Haven history to enjoy a slice of pizza, like it was made then and still is now.