Our family tradition began more than 68 years ago with Sam Perrella – or as we like to call him, Grandpa Sam.
As World War II soldiers returned home from Italy telling tales of their favorite food, the popularity of pizza in the U.S. grew. Sam Perrella, a former miner who owned a small café in Keewatin, picked up on this growing trend. Having connections in Chicago, Sam visited with some pizza makers and returned home with an idea that sparked and gave birth to what is now Sammy’s Pizza.
In October 1954, armed with enthusiasm and their own secret recipes, Sam and wife, Louise, opened the doors of the first Sammy's Pizza restaurant in Hibbing, MN.
As their business flourished, they helped their family and a close friend open their own pizza restaurants. Today, some 68 years, 15 locations and more than 25 million pizzas later, Sammy's is now in it's fourth generation of pizza makers, who all still use Sam’s original recipes.
In 2015, PMQ Pizza Magazine, the pizza industry’s No. 1 publication, inducted Sammy’s into its Pizza Hall of Fame — which pays tribute to popular pizzerias in business for 50 years or longer.
In 2018, Sammy's was also voted 'Best Pizza in Minnesota' in Minnesota Monthly Magazine's Pizza Bracket Challenge.
Sammy's Pizza in Downtown Duluth, which was opened in 1956 by Sam Perrella, Jr. and his wife Jeanne, is the longest existing pizza restaurant in Duluth, MN. It’s also the second oldest Sammy’s after the original restaurant in Hibbing, MN.
The restaurant is still in the family, locally-owned and operated by Terry Perrella, Timmy Perrella, and Terry's daughter, Alex. The Perrellas also own Sammy's restaurants in Hermantown and Woodland (Duluth).
Our father, Sam Jr., brought Sammy's to Duluth in 1956 with a simple ideology: Be an innovator, not a follower. Take the proper time to prepare something right. Strive for a home-cooked, quality product, a fair price, and personal service. Go through the extra effort and expense to be the best. And, only serve a meal that you would be proud to serve guests in your own home. That's what our "family tradition" means.
When you visit, our hope is that you’ll realize Sammy’s makes much more than great pizza – we make works of art inspiring traditions with family and friends, as well as in our local community.
Thank you for making Sammy’s Pizza a part of your family tradition. We look forward to your next visit!