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One Slice For All: The Rovente Pizzeria Story

How a Portland pizza shop founded by immigrants, has been serving the community and New York style pizza for 20 years.

Presented by Rovente Pizzeria August 22, 2018

The year was 1998, and the Clinton era provided optimism and a new sense of inclusivity in the country. It was also the year that Rovente Pizzeria was founded. A small and humble shop in downtown Portland on SW 4th, and a local favorite. Gooey pieces of cheese and kneaded dough would crust over to serve the diverse white collar crowd that roamed the rose city streets. Since its genesis, a lot has changed in Portland and its darling pizza shop. New developments and residents have brought with it a different economic landscape. Rovente has also grown to 4 locations and has improved to fresher ingredients and new recipes while staying true to its commitment towards inclusivity and diversity.

The pursuit of the Italian-American dream began when two young immigrants from the Middle East, came to study at Portland State University. They found a new home and a sense of identity in Portland. In order to pay for his tuition, one of the founders, Mo, began working at his local pizza shop. Doing whatever it took to succeed, his do anything mentality when it came to deliveries and management caught the eye of the then-current owners. When the original owners decided to relocate back to California, they chose to sell it to Mo and his friend Ziyad, because they knew it would be in good hands. They quickly began refining the process. Creating a fresh new red-sauce, better ingredients, and updating the bread machines in order to perfect the New
York style pizza that has become synonymous with drooling.

This new popularity and attention to detail allowed them to open up 3 more shops in all the major corners of Portland. As they rapidly grew, they never forgot about their roots and where they came from. The commitment to inclusivity and community has been a backbone of the companies values since inception. “We want to be known as the friendliest and most accepting pizza shop in town. Everyone is welcome here”, says Ziyad Mahmood, as he quirks with his laid-back attitude while Reggae music flows in the background. A suitable setting for such a statement. From giving discounted prices to non-profits, donating pizzas to Portland schools, or sponsoring local events, the effect is palpable. Everyone loves pizza. Everyone wants to feel accepted. With just a little more daily dose of this feeling, we could reduce the need for pharmaceuticals and replace them with pepperonis.

Learn more here: https://www.roventepizzeria.com