Francesca and Emanuele Donancrichia come full circle in their love of pizza.
The couple launched Francesca’s Pizzeria & Restaurant at 3 Main St. in Delhi in late January.
Francesca Donancricchia said owning a pizzeria has long been a dream.
“I’m a (SUNY Delhi) alumni and went there from 2009 to 2014,” she said. “I came back to the region in 2019, and that’s when I came with my husband. We bought the restaurant in 2021, but the pizzeria has passed me by far. What I mean by that is that my parents had a pizzeria – my dad arrived over 40 years ago and bought a pizzeria after immigrating from Italy – so they inspired us to get on with life of pizza place. I was born and raised indoors and my husband has been immersed in the culture for a few years now so it was just the right thing to do. The old (restaurant) had closed and it was the perfect opportunity: the location, the community and that I had already had a taste of the community since I had been there before.”
Although Francesca’s namesake is proving popular, Donancricchia said, the restaurant offers more than just pizza.
“Pizza is obviously what we’re known for,” she said. “My husband brought Greek pizza to the area, with feta, olives, onions and tomatoes, and our white pizza is to die for. Our chicken-bacon ranch is more common, but these are some of our best sellers.
“But I would say the pasta dishes are where we start our restaurant adventure, and as we get established we would like to add other elements,” Donancricchia continued. “Our lasagna is flying off the shelf; I can’t save enough. And our tiramusi, I don’t have enough inventory. There is so much demand. It’s three weeks away, so I’m learning what’s in demand more than anything else…and also listening to what our Facebook viewers are saying. So, there are a few hot topics we have, and I don’t know if it’s because we’re new and people are trying us out, or because that stuff isn’t there in the area.
Customers, Donancricchia said, are a mix.
“I think the local community supports us the most,” she said. “The college is there, but the locals – whether digitally or in person – they are the ones who take the minutes to ask us where we came from and what brought us here and, in return, we ask them. So , locals are where we share our stories, and college kids are so hungry.
“We had people from Roxbury, Stamford, Meridale and I had family from Long Island,” Donancricchia continued. “Whether it’s families coming to visit college students or owners of a second home, the downstate comes to see us. And in the three weeks it was open, I saw…families with young children, couples in their 60s and 90s, and I saw students. We hired several (students from) the Delaware Academy, so I think the youth employment also brought in a lot of eyes and a neutral ground for everyone to come in.
Francesca, Donancrichia said, employs 16 people.
Donancricchia said his commitment to Tariff, his family and the community gave him hope.
“This is the first real (restaurant) property for both of us, with lots of advice from my uncle and my parents,” she said. “The day-to-day change is what keeps it alive and the fact that we have passion. You go in and you taste in the recipes and you see the passion in the menu, you see the dynamism. We have a new little daughter – she’s five months old – and she’s our driving force Nine times out of 10 she’s there, just like me, alive and breathing, so it’s a family run establishment and I hope everyone feels good there I have tried to make sure we have high chairs and enough seating for all types of people and I would say we are disabled accessible I try to make sure that being as I have Been in the industry my whole life and graduated from business school, that encompasses all the elements.
For more information or to see a menu, find “Francesca’s Pizzeria & Restaurant” on Facebook. Also call 607-746-7825.
Francesca’s is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 10 to 10 Friday and Saturday; noon to 9, Sunday; and closed on Tuesday.