The Pony Express Pizza Shop
Serving fine homemade recipes since 1978
3031 Graham Road, Stow, Ohio
Voted Top Ten Best Pizza in Beacon Journal Readers Choice
The Pony Express Pizza Shop, owned by Jim Leone and Larry Conti, has been a household name in Stow since 1978. The secret to their success and longevity has been to provide quality foods at fair prices, good service, and fine employees. In addition, the employees strive to give the best service both with delivery and carry out. The non-franchised privately owned store has been at the same location since 1978. In 2005, the plaza, now named Sky Bank Commons, at the corner of Fishcreek and Graham Roads was completely renovated which has enhanced their location as an inviting plaza to shop for the community.
The shop has a lot to be proud of. Customers have often commented that the pizza, and other foods have never changed in all the years of operation. Both Leone and Conti are proud to
mention that the same quality cheese, and toppings in their pizza has been used continuously since 1978. Quality cheeses costs us more, but in the long run, the customer receives a better product. Even the same distributor has delivered the quality products to their store for all that time. Not many pizza shops can say that in this day and age. Today, many shops are constantly trying different ingredients in order to make expected profit margins.
But at Pony Express Pizza, Leone and Conti were both shown by their Italian mothers the fine recipes, and they’ve insisted not to change anything. It was the late Mary Conti, mother of Larry Conti that provided them with their family’s Old
World pizza sauce recipe. It was Jim Leone’s mother, Nina Leone, who was born in Naples, Italy that gave them the fine Italian pizza dough recipe. Conti, who was raised in the North Hill Italian area of Akron, and Jim Leone from Cuyahoga Falls, admit they were fortunate to have mothers that knew how to prepare those special Italian sauces and great pizza dough. That’s why so many of their long time customers have continued to patronize the shop since it first opened in the winter of 1978.
In addition to homemade pizza, the shop also offers excellent golden brown broasted chicken, meatball, sausage, fish and steak subs. They have those special JoJo potatoes, antipasto salads, and regular salads. As with the pizza ingredients, the chicken has been freshly packed and delivered to our store by the same vendor for more than 25 years. Conti and Leone insist that the size and quality of the chicken always be the same.
Another popular food of the shop is the tasty Buffalo wings, offered with several delicious sauces, such as hot, medium, BBQ, garlic, teriyaki, or simply breaded. Whenever there are good sporting events on television, you can bet the shop is busy. Today, with all the high tech televisions that have been installed in family’s homes, more people have used our fine foods to satisfy their appetites and enjoy the events while in the comfort of their homes.
Another reason for the store’s success is its employees. Where most restaurants have a high turnover in employees, this is not the case with Pony Express Pizza Shop. Rather, Leone and Conti are both very proud that many local students have worked at the shop while finishing high school or college. Many employees have learned good fundamentals in customer service. Some have gone into professions such as police officers, nurses, teachers, computer technicians, firemen, and many other occupations. Today, many of those former employees patronize the store.
Leone and Conti have watched their children work at the store at one time or another. At the Conti household, there was Scott, Stacey, Kelly, Kristin, and Alyssa who worked at the shop during their school years. In the Leone household, there is Bobby, Mickey, and Jimmy who all worked there as well. Currently, Mickey Leone, a 16-year employee, is one of the co-managers. Working along with Mickey Leone is long time employee of 23 years, co-manager, Marjorie Murphy. Her children, Kimberly, Melina and Shelly also worked in the past at the store. Leone and Conti are quick to mention that they are very proud to have such valuable, loyal employees. Such employees take pride and care in their everyday duties.
The city of Stow has been a great community to have a business. Leone and Conti both have raised their families in the community, and watched as the city has grown over the years. They’ve given back to the community in ways such as sponsoring youth sports for over 25 years. They have constantly given donations and discounts to schools, churches, clubs, and other organizations. The store has received recognition from such organizations as Friends of Education, YMCA, City of Stow, Stow Munroe Falls Booster Club, and Fire & Police Associations. When one enters the store, it is evident of their pride by the photos and plaques that are displayed in the lobby.
There are always special offers at the store. Mondays are Pizza Specials, Tuesdays are Chicken Specials, and discount coupons are generally seen in various publications circulated in Stow. In addition, the store has always shown its appreciation to their loyal customers by giving back. When customers save 20 receipts of $6.00 or more on their purchases, they return them to the store and receive a FREE medium cheese pizza, or an 8 piece chicken dinner. As Leone and Conti state, “it’s our way of saying Thank You” to those loyal customers who patronize the store often.
In addition to delivering in Stow, it also delivers to Silver Lake, Munroe Falls, and Kent. Phone: 330.673.9410.