This year has been nothing short of life-altering, especially for the restaurant industry. Although another new set of dining regulations have fallen upon us, one thing remains certain: delivery dominates. Enter Verizza, Hoboken’s newest pizza spot on the block.
While the current landscape couldn’t be more untimely for new business pursuits, founders Andrea Stefanucci, Edoardo Irrera and Stefano Flavoni had a plan in place before 2020 to expand their corporate backgrounds to the cooking space, with a unique yet genuine approach to service in mind.
So, what exactly separates Verizza from the rest of the pizza scene? “Pizza is often considered a delivery food. But one often struggles to find good pizza delivery options,” notes Flavoni. “There are a lot of good sit-down pizzerias, but few delivery-focused ones. We wanted to try and change this.”
A New Strategy
With great emphasis placed on its delivery services, Flavoni ensured that every step of Verizza’s order process was analyzed. From dough to door, as they like to say. “Traditional Neapolitan pizza is quite soft and doesn’t perform very well on delivery. What we have done is create a hybrid between Neapolitan and Roman pizza [which is crispier] which we think is both tastier and handles a better delivery concept.”
Whether you’re ordering online or by phone, Verizza’s delivery services are all kept in-house. By owning the whole process, the pizzeria is aiming to develop a more direct connection with customers—a solid method for establishing itself in the Hoboken community early on.
A New Market
Nestled on Newark Street, Verizza is only a few paces away from Washington Street—a strip that may be considered one of Hoboken’s liveliest. The area’s demographic of young professionals was a key factor when it came to deciding where to set up shop. Not to mention the close proximity to Manhattan. The partners also viewed Hoboken as a hub of refined tastes, which is certainly a fair finger to point even to the wider North Jersey dining landscape.
As local restaurants continue to crack their own unique codes for pandemic-proofing, Verizza seemingly aligned with the forthcoming disruption before it knew it would have to. “Although [the pandemic] initially got us worried about our plans, we decided nevertheless to push forward given our delivery-focused model.” Flavoni stated. “Obviously, we suffered severe delays in opening, amongst many other issues. But, the demand for good authentic pizza thankfully is still very much there.” And authentic Verizza is.
A New Approach
To further its distinction within the Hoboken food scene, the pizzeria is prioritizing taste by way of its Neapolitan and Roman pizza hybrid approach—accomplishing a balance of fluffiness with just the right amount of crunch. “There are a lot of steps required to get this final result, from the flour blend to the different stages in the leavening process. One important factor is the oven type and temperature. We use a Neapolitan oven and set it at a slightly lower temperature than what traditional Neapolitan pizza dictates and for a slightly longer cooking time.”
Pizza has proven itself to be a versatile meal in that almost any type of cheese or meat is game as a topping, and the menu at Verizza is a nod to that. Transport yourself right to Italy with classics such as Marinara and Margherita. Or, try their more eccentric creations like the Parmense (pictured) or the Mortazza topped with prosciutto and mortadella, respectively. However, the list doesn’t stop there. Pies like the Quattro Formaggi and Funghi cater to vegetarians and mozzarella enthusiasts alike.
A Vision For the Future
While making sure the pies remain on their way out the bright blue front doors, Flavoni is taking note of all the learning moments in Verizza’s first year. “Uncertainty is always a major factor in this industry, and COVID has only made it worse,” he starts. “It is very important to remain flexible and open to shifting timelines and plans. We made a conscious decision to focus on elements we can control. Our product, our brand, taking care of our staff and ultimately serving our customers a fantastic tasting pizza.”
Verizza is located at 152 Newark Street in Hoboken and is open from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays through Sundays.