My name is Guerino Antonelli and I am the President of Woody’s Pizzeria, Inc. When I was in first grade, Woody became my nickname. When my mother took me to school, my teacher Mrs. Hatcher, could not pronouce “Guerino”, so she said,”I’ll call you Woody.” The name stuck with me up until this day.
In 1964, I started a corporation called Woody’s Pizzeria, Inc. Since 1964, three subdivisions have been started: Woody’s Little Italy Restaurant; Woody’s Catering; and Dan-O’s Distributing.
I am very happy to experience from childhood what a family meant. My mother and father came here from Italy. They had four sons and one daughter, and growing up in our family meant working together. Through cooperation from all of us, we were taught to plant gardens, raise animals for food, butcher, canning foods, preparing wines and liquor, soft drinks, cooking dinners, and the process of cleaning.
We learned from a young age the preparation of recipe that was handed down from my mom and dad’s Italian family generation. I feel that the participation by me started the groundwork in the field and direction to pursue.
The first restaurant was started in 1941. There were many restaurants bought and sold from that time until 1964. A few of the recipes were used from the experience as a child. In 1964, I started a corporation called Woody’s Pizzeria, Inc. I began using more of the Italian recipes that brought about the success of it.
Going from buying and selling more restaurants from 1941 to 1964, I met my wonderful wife, Evelyn Pugh. We were married on September 25, 1954. We had four sons and two daughters together: Gregory, Deborah, Jeffrey, Mary Kay, Daniel, and Christopher.
In 1967 due to increase in sales, we moved the restaurant to a larger location. We began trading Woody’s Little Italy Restaurant. The majority of the recipes at this time were the ones handed down from family generation.
A wonderful thing happened to me in 1968: an Italian family with a daughter getting married approached me and proposed that I cater the wedding. With no avail pleading with her about not having the know-how to do the party, I ended up doing it anyways. It was remarkable. Complemented by the guests at the wedding, I was also approached by others at that time to cater their daughters’ weddings. Because of the love, enjoyment, and enthusiasm of this excitement, I started another division: Woody’s Catering.
From a young age all of our children began participating in all divisions of the operation. This brought us back to being a family again. Success became greater with them as a family business.
The best thing thet could have happened is that the children used the old recipes and also brought new and modern successful ideas into all divisions. Everyone took two or three divisions that they excelled in. They began learning to conduct your special event.
The children put out new types of catering parties: breakfast, lunch, and dinners. In addition to weddings, office, corporation, business meetings, picnics, cookouts, theme parties, holidays, and wakes were all added to Woody’s Catering agenda.
These types of parties took on the third division that we started, called Dan-O’s Distributing. When we started our catering division, we needed tents, tables, chairs, decorations, balloons, restaurant supplies, equipment, decorators, and etcetera. Therefore, Dan-O’s Distributing was started in 1989. In 1994 we moved the store to a larger location. We also sold and rented to other businesses and to the public. Dan-O’s also put in computers in their office operations to keep up with his growing business. He hired his own consultants and assistants to set up decor, beauty, and the type of parties you pursue.
At Woody’s Little Italy Restaurant in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, one of our children took over complete operation of the restaurant: dine-in, take out, lounge services, and training personnel. Using old recipes with new specialty on a daily basis was bringing more complimentary customer increases. Also breakfast meetings, small luncheons, and dinner parties with the perfect menu had become a part of daily routine. All personnel are taught a family atmosphere in service and catering. It took personnel to train, transporting, and decorating to make catering out in the field more efficient and beautiful.
All of the parts and all of the divisions have become more efficient and top pf the line because of all the childrens’ participation. Each took on a few divisions and made it their responsibility and brought out the best.
All three divisions of Woody’s Pizzeria, Inc., will be out the in the future and hold in place with the best because of family and the childrens’ enthusiasm. My children and I love to make customers feel treated as one of our family in dining or catering events being done anywhere by us.