DiOrio’s opened three years ago when Vic and his brother
decided to get back into the pizza business after a short hiatus.
They had owned a couple of popular pizzerias, Gevito’s Pizza,
in Atlanta, for about 12 years before selling out and changing
careers. They recently opened their second store in The Highlands in Louisville.
“Everybody pitched in and opened it,” DiOrio recalls. “We
have a lot of family, so the younger generation comes in and
helps. It makes it a lot easier to work there. Some say you can’t
work with your family, but I actually enjoy it.”
For this year’s competition, DiOrio worked with his two
nieces, Rachel Williamson and Candace Cochran. Meanwhile,
Rosenberg partnered with his son, Dustin Hernandez. The two
also work side-by-side at their pizzeria daily. “This was our first
time competing,” Rosenberg says. “His sister works there too,
but it is just the two of us today.”
Like DiOrio’s, Papalinos participated in the Bluegrass Bake-
off at the request of John Harrison, sales manager at Presto.
“Presto helps us out so much that we had to give it a shot,”
Rosenberg says. “It’s a little hectic but fun.”
Harrison says Presto’s work with pizzerias in the region led
to the company becoming involved in the Bluegrass Bakeoff.
“I think it’s a great showcase to compete in because it’s about
independents,” he notes. “Anytime independents can get the
accolades for being the ‘best of’ in a competition, it’s a good
award to have on your menu. The pizza community is a tight-
knit group. It’s competitive, but all of our customers are com-
peting against Papa John’s and Little Caesars, so whenever we
have an opportunity to push the independent businesses into
the spotlight, it’s great.”
DiOrio says he is excited to travel to Italy as a member of the
U.S. Pizza Team next spring. “I don’t know what I will be doing
for the team, but I can toss dough out very quickly and fold
boxes fast. You learn to do stuff very quickly in a high-volume
restaurant,” he adds with a laugh. “But it is cool that the spon-
sors do this kind of thing and help bring awareness to pizzerias.
There need to be more competitions like this out there.”
Melanie Addington is PMQ’s social media director.
Bayram Vatansever from The Bridge Pizza in Lexington
competed again this year after winning the 2012 bakeoff.