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Pizzaria Owner Getting Ready For Brand To Take Off

Coppola's Pizzaria owner Luke Andriaccio poses with a large pizza he crafted and the Licensing Operations and Information Manual that new business owners would receive. P-J photo by Eric Zavinski

BEMUS POINT — Before now, the Marco Rosso brand was known nationwide as an Italian sauce from the minds of pizza restaurant proprietors from Chautauqua County.

Luke Andriaccio, owner of Coppola’s Pizzaria, is now setting his sights on expansion; specifically, the small business owner is licensing his Marco Rosso brand as a means for other small business owners throughout the region to start their own pizzerias.

Opting not to franchise his restaurant brand, Andriaccio said licensing will instead give entrepreneurs more freedom to add their own flair to the formula that began when Coppola’s Pizzaria opened in Bemus Point in 2008.

“I’m trying to create something new,” Andriaccio said. “The flexibility is the big thing.”

For example, Andriaccio said future Marco Rosso restaurant owners could create anything from a four-star eatery to a bar that features the same core menu of Italian meals. Even the base menu can be added to, Andriaccio said; as long as future licensees work from the same core set of ingredients, new Marco Rosso employees can create new types of products inspired from the original Coppola’s Pizzaria.

“They’re going to have a better chance for success off the bat,” Andriaccio said.

He talked about his business story and how he found through hard work that his type of business was “recession-proof.” Andriaccio opened Coppola’s Pizzaria in spring 2008 and was approximately $250,000 in debt at the time. He said he had a successful first summer, with a great deal of business rolling in between Memorial Day and Labor Day, a trend that he said has continued in years since and has helped the initial purchase of the building and startup costs feel well worth it.

“People have to eat,” Andriaccio said. “I know how successful we are in a village of 350 people.”

He mentioned that multiple potential licensees have already contacted him regarding new stores. Work on a license agreement first began in earnest this January, but it’s also been something Andriaccio has been thinking about for years.

“Now it’s time,” Andriaccio stated.

Elements that will be provided to new Marco Rosso restaurants include trademark products, supplier recommendations, workplace training, advertising assistance and access to buying power from distributors. Andriaccio said this should reduce startup costs for licensees to potentially $50,000 to $70,000.

“It’s taken as much guesswork out as possible,” Andriaccio said.

Marco Rosso is now defined as a corporation, which Andriaccio owns with his father, Mark. Coppola’s Pizzaria itself is not organized as a corporation and is able to survive branding contention with movie director Francis Ford Coppola by remaining a singular restaurant in Bemus Point.

Andriaccio envisions success with this new expansion and hopes for Marco Rosso restaurants to eventually sprout across the country.

The restaurant is located at 20 Main St. in Bemus Point.

Follow Eric Zavinski at twitter.com/EZavinski

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