Restaurant owners share importance of supporting local on National Mom and Pop Business Owners’ Day

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WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) — Monday was National Mom and Pop Business Owners’ Day.

It’s a day to celebrate local family-owned businesses. Many small towns across North Carolina, like Washington, are made up of family-owned businesses. Many of those businesses still need support after a year of closures and limited capacities.

“It’s been rough, but thank God for the people in Washington, they like us and support us,” said Vincenzo Cilluffo, owner of Frank’s Pizza.

Frank’s Pizza has been around for decades.

“We opened in July 7, 1986,” said Cilluffo.

The Italian restaurant has a rich family history.

“We came over from Italy right out of high school, and the future was not too bright,” he said. “No jobs or nothing. So we came to the USA for the big American dream.”

Cilluffo and his brother ran the pizza place together, but things took a turn when his brother died.

“My brother was my brother and my partner, and it was rough,” said Cilluffo.

Cilluffo’s daughter stepped up to help run the family business.

Cristina Cilluffo Mayo at Frank’s Pizza (Caroline Bowyer, WNCT photo)

“Not everybody has the privilege of seeing their parents everyday,” said Cristina Cilluffo Mayo. “I see my mom and dad everyday and it’s nice.”

Cilluffo said mom and pop shops like his are special.

“Some of the little mom and pops like us have homemade traditional recipes,” he said. “Something you’re not going to get any place else.”

Mayo said they’re also important to the local economy.

“It kind of keeps, ya know, the city going,” she said. “Especially here in Washington. It keeps it going. The money revolves.”

Frank’s Pizza is currently take-out only but will reopen indoor dining on April 12.

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