HARTFORD, Conn. — For one Hartford pizzeria, National Pizza Day on Feb. 9 was a day meant to continue making an impact beyond the pizza and wings.
Walden St. Juste is a co-owner of Bro's Dough Pizzeria. A few years back, he said his friend - now business partner - George Lys, had an idea to get into the pizza business.
"We invited a few people over, and George made a few pizzas, and everyone loved it," St. Juste explained. "They said, 'Where did you get this pizza from?' And I said 'You're going to be getting it from Bro's Dough soon.'"
From there, it was history in the making as Bro's Dough became the first Black-owned pizzeria in Hartford in August 2020. St. Juste said they offer a wide variety of unique New York-style pizzas, along with appetizers and individual pizza slices available for take-out or delivery.
Bro's Dough is a dream come true for St. Juste and his partners.
"Growing up, you read about a lot of Black people being influential to our culture, and here we are right now doing just that," said St. Juste with a massive grin on his face.
With 100% of Bro's Dough staff and owners being Hartford natives, he said it was essential to give back to the community and engage with the youth.
"We want them to know that anything is possible, no matter where they're from, they can do or be anything, and this is proof," St. Juste added.
Since its inception in 2020, Bro's Dough Pizzeria has hosted back-to-school drives, along with other events and activities that positively impact the community.
"We throw pizza parties for kids at schools...and sometimes we just feed people that are walking by that look like they need a slice," said St. Juste.
Despite opening their businesses during the pandemic, they've gained a following and lots of support.
"I've been dying to come to Bro's Dough Pizzeria to try the blondie pizza," said first-time customer Tatiana Feliz. "It's the first Black-owned pizza shop in Hartford, so I'm definitely excited to be here and taste it because I hear all about it on social media, so I'm here to check it out."
Although they were highly nervous being a minority-owned pizzeria in Connecticut, St. Juste said they'll continue to grow with and for the community.
"We're just mastering our craft as we go along," said St. Juste. "I think we're doing a tremendous job, and other people are saying we are, so I'm extremely happy."
Click here for more information about Bro's Dough Pizzeria.
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