Portesi's was founded by George Portesi, the son of Silvio and Adrianna Portesi of Altopascio, Italy, a small town near Pisa. George grew up in Italy, came to the US at 17 and settled in Cicero, Illinois. He was a young risk-taker in a new country, a new language, and a dream of creating a better life for himself.
George Portesi married Clara Banducci and they had a daughter, Adrian
They purchased a tavern in Cicero, IL They moved to a second tavern, Polacco's, a few years later where they started making pizzas for their bowling and soccer teams as well as their friends who frequented the business.
George entered into a partnership with the Jagielo family that purchased a resort in Almond, WI. It was here by the request of their daughter Adrian that they made pizza a regular item on their menu.
The Portesi family was approached to bring their delicious pizza to Paul's Bar in Stevens Point.
George's new son-in-law, Joe Mitch, joined the business and came up with the idea of offering Portesi pizzas to other establishments in the area.
Waitresses made pizzas during the day which were partially baked, frozen and wrapped in aluminum foil for distribution in the surrounding area. Soon after, the pizzas were wrapped in plastic, labeled and sold in the local grocery stores.
George purchased a new facility in downtown Stevens Point and began making frozen pizzas with several of the employees that worked at the restaurant. Actually, what George did was freeze fresh-baked pizzas. This is the one thing that has differentiated Portesi from other companies. We took a great product and kept it that way; other companies used their name and then made a completely different frozen product.
Joe and Adrian Mitch purchased the business from George and Clara Portesi.
Thin Crust line of pizzas were introduced. This line consists of a quality pre-baked crust topped off with the same ingredients and the frozen without baking.
George Portesi lived to see the third generation take an active role in the company.
Portesi's developed our Thin Crust CHEESE FRIES. Named for the large amount of cheese on the product, the Hi-Rise CHEESE FRIES followed soon after
Major distributors were added to handle products outside of the Portesi distribution area. These distributors help to service our growing school lunch program with Cheese Fries and Pizzas.
Portesi's built a new production facility in the Portage County Business Park. Increased space for production and finished product storage. More office space and an improved flow plan created opportunities to better service our customers and improve the work environment for our employees.
Always changing and adapting to the needs of our schools nutritional guidelines we developed Cheese Fries and Pizzas with whole grain crusts and Low-fat, Low-salt REAL Mozzarella Cheese. Ensuring our products taste good and meet the newest nutritional standards.
Portesi's was founded by George Portesi. George was the son of Silvio and Adrianna Portesi of Altopascio, Italy, a small town near Pisa. He grew up in Italy and came to the United States by himself at the age of 17. He settled in Chicago, Illinois, more specifically, Cicero. He was a young risk-taker in a new country with a new language, and a dream of trying to create a better life for himself.