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Meet Patrick Rooney of Stella’s Pizzeria in Boca Raton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Patrick Rooney.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
We began as a small neighborhood pizzeria nearly 18 years ago. I started working at the shop my senior year of high school to make some extra spending money – I had no idea that I’d end up owning it a few years later.

The restaurant is named after my mother Stella, who sadly lost her battle with cancer in September of 2008. Shortly after her passing, I partnered with my younger brother Daniel and we began growing the business. We never could’ve imagined how much things would change in such a short amount of time. Our little mom and pop pizzeria is now offering full-scale catering, delivery, dine-in and we’ve partnered with dozens of schools, daycares, temples and non-profits. We’ve never lost sight of the fact that it’s our amazing, loyal customers that have shaped our success over the years.

Fast-forward to present day, we are now looking to open a second location and keep the momentum going. The focus is, as it’s always been, to keep our quality high and make sure our customers (family) are always put first.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
As with all small businesses, our restaurant has seen its (at times, seemingly endless) share of obstacles. The crash of ‘08 was definitely our first challenge that forced us to re-think our entire business model. People had less disposable income and were definitely not dining out as much. To be honest, I was terrified we wouldn’t be able to weather the storm. I spent countless hours reading different articles and posting questions on various restaurant forums to see what others were doing to make it through. My “ah-ha!” moment came, when I noticed larger chain pizzerias increasing their promotions in our area… I figured I’d piggy back off their massive advertising budgets and offer to match their prices – it was like “pizza Judo”. Somehow, it worked and we made it through!

The other major obstacle we’ve always had to deal with are food costs. Being a small, single-unit operation really limits the amount of purchasing power we have when negotiating contracts with our vendors. I’ve found that working WITH my vendors rather than AGAINST them is always best. I make every effort to refer them new business and they in turn are more flexible on pricing.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Stella’s Pizzeria – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Our mission has always been to make the best food possible and treat our customers as family. The golden rule is and has always been the key to our success. We specialize in keeping things simple and fresh. It’s really all we’ve ever needed to be honest.

All things considered, what we’re most known for and what I’m most proud of are our having the opportunity to work with the community. Whether it’s helping local schools raise money or teaching kids with special needs to make their own pizzas, we do our best to give back whenever possible. Life is just too short not to.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My immediate goal is to open a second location in the next year. With my son being born 10 months ago, I’ve definitely had to make the extra effort to make sure there’s a good a life-work balance. As much as I love my business – I’m a dad and a husband, first and a restaurant owner, second. Somehow, it all just seems to fall into place.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 19585 M State Road 7
    Boca Raton, Fl 33498
  • Website: www.stellasbestpizza.com
  • Phone: 561-487-1886
  • Email: prooney82@yahoo.com

Getting in touch: VoyageMIA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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