History of Jerry's Pizza - a Tradition in Middletown, CT

Jerry's Pizza is one of the oldest and best-known pizzerias in the central Connecticut. Its original location opened on December 28, 1968 in Washington Plaza on Washington St. in Middletown, CT. Jerry's was one of the first businesses to open up in Washington Plaza.

Jerry Schiano (b. September 17, 1933) was born in Monte di Procida, a small town in the Province of Naples in the Italian region Campania, located about 15 km west of Naples Naples. Jerry Schiano was the quintessential Italian immigrant. His first restaurant experience was in Brooklyn, NY where he started as a dishwasher at Little Venice Restaurant. Between 1963 and 1968, Jerry worked at a handful of family-owned and operated pizzerias in New York City and Long Island.

He made his first entrepreneurial move by establishing Jerry's Pizza on December 28, 1968 at 885 Washington St. in Middletown, CT – the only Middletown pizzeria to sell pizza by the slice, and also the first pizzeria to offer calzones in Middletown. Jerry's quickly became a favorite amongst Middletown residents and Weselyan students.

He married Toni Orlando, from Guilford, CT in 1977. She was one of his first waitresses at the original location on Washington Street. They began their family in Guilford and had two children - Carmela, born in 1978, and William, born in 1983.

Throughout the 1970's, 80's, 90's, and into the 21st century, Jerry's Pizza has remained a staple in the Middletown community.

Beyond his career in Pizza, Jerry also has a love of animals. In the 1980's he raised Neapolitan Mastiffs for about 10 years.  Neapolitan Mastiffs are large breed dogs that were common in Jerry’s home town in Italy.  Jerry also raises llamas; Jerry met his first llama in the states at Catskill Game Farm in upstate New York.   Jerry got his first llama, Downey in 1983, and continues to raise llamas today. They currently have a herd of over two dozen llamas.  Jerry and Toni have their farm in Guilford on route 77, Lakeside Farm.

In 2008, Jerry's Pizza re-located from Washington Street to its current convenient location at 635 South Main Street in Middletown, CT.
Jerry is still a permanent fixture in the pizzeria today... Frequent patrons will see his daughter, Carmela and his son, Will making all of his delicious recipes.  And you may notice some newer specialty pizzas brought to you by Carmela but with all of Jerry’s same care for freshness and quality. 

Jerry's Pizza has been serving Middletown's Favorite Pizza since 1968!

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