The term “grinder” can be traced back to the east coast, where during WWI, Italian immigrants set up sandwich shops close to the shipyards. Their freshly baked Italian rolls were filled with generous amounts of meats and cheeses, and were baked and garnished with lettuce and tomato. These super-sized sandwiches were a favorite of the hard working men who ground off rivets on the old metal warships. The friendly shop owners referred to these men as “grinders” and their ever popular sandwiches also came to be known as “grinders”.
Joe’s father and mother, Samuel and Marion, opened a pizza shop in the 1950’s in St. Clair Shores, MI called “Sammy’s Pizza”. For the next three decades, the Mancino children would help in the restaurant on weekends and when they would come home from school. Sam retired and handed his legacy down to all of his children. All five Mancino children operate shops of their own today.
While working as a school principal in Hartford, Connecticut, Joe Mancino would visit his parents with his wife Sandra and his two daughters Kim and Jolie. The entire family would spend countless hours working in the Sammy’s restaurant. Joe and Sandra gained valuable knowledge and experience working for Sammy and decided to try their luck in opening their own restaurant. They left Hartford and began investigating locations and looking for a place to lease in Michigan. A small place in Coldwater, MI was found, and the restaurant was built and operated as a carry-out only store.
From day one, Joe and Sandra worked hard at developing new grinder and pizza recipes. Besides a few additions and improvements, these recipes are still found in all of their stores. The original recipes and good customer relations have never changed. This original concept is prevalent in all Mancino’s and Bellacino’s® restaurants and will not change. The Bellacino’s® team is proud of the reputation the stores have earned from the products served, but, we are famous for more than just the pizzas and grinders. We are dedicated to meeting the demands of our owners and customers for now and in the future. We will never compromise quality, quantity, quick service, value, or our friendly working and dining environments for any gimmick of profit. The success of our team is directly related to the success of every store and every store owner. We stress the importance of the satisfaction of our customers during their dining experience and the satisfaction of our store owners in our business friendships. We hope you will join our team and be yet another proud restaurant owner.
Sandra Mancino, President