Special to Emmaus Patch By Chrissy Cilento, Emmaus High School Senior
La Trattoria Siciliana - Vito’s Pizzeria
Rts 29 & 100
Old Zionsville, 18068
Owner: Salvatore Ruffino
Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sunday noon-9 p.m.
What you sell?
We offer a wide variety of authentic Italian food, from traditional platters to simple hoagies to gourmet pizza, strombolis, steak sandwiches...typical Italian food.
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Why did you choose to locate your business in Zionsville?
Vito’s was opened in 1985. Six months after it opened the original owner decided to put it up for sale. My father [bought it and] basically took the reigns after six months and decided to run with the business. Why did he choose here? I don’t know! He just wanted to own his own business.
How long have you been in business?
What inspired you to start your business?
Well, my father always wanted his own business -- it was his dream. He was previously working at Valley Pizza in Fogelsville and at the time he was doing it for 26 years, so he wanted his own place. He wanted a family business where his children could take over his legacy and he could move forward.
What makes your business different from the competition?
We’re very passionate about the product we serve. We don’t cut corners on our products, and that’s what kept us competitive. Just ask around!
What is the most rewarding part of your business?
The people. Most people when they come here, they work for 40 hours, 50 hours a week and they just want a quality product. It’s a relief when they don’t have to cook. They can unwind from their stressful week and have good food and be satisfied. That’s the most rewarding part of it. It’s all about the people -- that’s what this all boils down to.
What’s the hardest part of your business?
Where do you hope to see your business in the future?
I hope to see the business stable, like it’s been, continuing to serve a good product. Keeping it simple -- not making it sophisticated, because I believe that’s how the town of Zionsville is -- we’re all about simplicity. I just hope to continue to sell a good product and keep the people of Zionsville happy. That’s what it’s all about.
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
I’d have to say two things. You have to spend money to make money, and you have to love food!
What business advice would you give to someone else hoping to open a business like yours?
Be prepared for good and bad, don’t be so quick to give up, and make sure you’re passionate about what you’re doing -- what you’re getting yourself into. Also, ask yourself when you get into the business, 'Could you do it for free?' -- because there’s going to be tough times. Just stay positive, serve a good product, and just move forward from there.
Do you have a role model for what you do?
It would have to be my father, his brother Frank Ruffino, and my cousin Salvatore Marsala because of the passion they have behind this industry. They’re very passionate and they’re very successful, not only with money but with their customers, with the products they make and with their creativity.
What do you do when you aren't working?
Motorcycle racing. I just came back from Daytona where I won 2nd in the amateur nationals.
Chrissy Cilento, a senior at Emmaus High School, plans to study journalism in college. She is a periodic contributor to Patch.