Williamsport, Pa - Venice Pizza is under new ownership as George Sober takes over the community staple from Gasper Saladino. Venice, which has operated since 1984 and been in the Giant Plaza since 2000, enters its new era of ownership with Sober at the helm.
Sober started out with Venice Pizza as a kitchen hand working for Saladino in February of 1997. When the time came for Saladino to prepare to take on retirement, he approached Sober about taking over. Sober said it was a no-brainer for him, as he’s been in this business a long time and knows the in’s and out’s.
Sober said he wants to keep the mom and pop shop going and feels the weight of taking over ownership in the midst of a pandemic.
“I feel a little bit of pressure, a little nerve wracking. Change of presidency, covid new restrictions from the state, where does that leave me? A little scary at first, but nose to the grindstone and keep on going,” Sober said. “We’ve been surviving, but due to the fact of losing the dining and seating, business is definitely slower,” he continued.
Sober wants to keep things moving the way Venice always has. Sober and the staff at Venice take pride in their loyal customers and knowing names, voices, and orders, creating the friendly relationship between business and customer.
“Consistency is key and they know it’s a good product. A lot of customers have been coming here for years. I’ve seen their parents, and now them. I see their kids, and their kids' kids,” Sober added.
The staff plans to maintain the atmosphere that’s represented Venice pizza for 26 years no matter whose hand the ownership is in. "Business as usual," as Sober says. “You know the people and you talk to them, it’s good and you know what they like and what they want from you.”
Venice Pizza is located at 1875 East Third St. and is open for take-out 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.