For 22 years Daniel Saccone, owner of Saccone’s Pizza & Subs, has served New Jersey-style pizza deep in the heart of Texas.
In 1997 he opened his first location in Leander where he inaugurated the New Jersey-style pizza.
“I wanted to be different,” Saccone said of the invention.
Two more Saccone’s locations followed, in Northwest Austin and Round Rock, but closed after an armed robbery, a parking lot shooting and plans to consolidate. Today, Saccone’s operates out of Plaza Volente in the Anderson Mill neighborhood.
“If you want a good pizza, this is where you should be,” he said.
Inside the restaurant there is a display of Saccone’s awards, including for dough-stretching and best pizza in the Southwest U.S.
A seasoned competitor, Saccone was recently named a member of the U.S. Pizza Team, which competes around the country and the world. The experience has taught Saccone more about the mechanics of pizza, and he continues to fine-tune his personal dough and sauce recipes.
Up next is a switch to an Italian brand of flour, which Saccone said is less processed than American brands and results in a superior product, even though it is nearly twice as expensive.
“If I can find a better product, it doesn’t matter the cost,” he said.
In addition to refining his recipes, Saccone said he is adapting his business model, which has been affected by the growth of food-delivery services, such as Uber Eats and Door Dash.
“They have destroyed my delivery business,” he said.
Austin’s low unemployment and saturated restaurant market have also made it difficult for the restaurant to hire staffers.
“This is the struggle we’re having, and all we can ask is our customers be understanding,” Saccone said.
In exchange Saccone is working to accommodate changes in customers’ tastes. He is working to develop a gluten-free version of his dough, which he said will rival traditional pizza.
Despite the challenges of running a small business, Saccone is sure about one thing.
“I love what I do,” he said.
Saccone’s Pizza & Subs
11416 N. RM 620, Austin
Hours: Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.