St. Anthony’s Pizza

St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, an Italian parish with a long history in the Brier Hill area, has been making pizza for the community since 1974, but the tradition of pizza in and around the church dates back to its origins.

St. Anthony’s  was founded in 1898 on the northwest side of Youngstown. Located on West Federal Street, the parish met religious needs of Italian men and their families who had immigrated to Youngstown for work in the steel mills. The parish served as a community outlet for the many Italian immigrants who came from different parts of Italy to share in religious practices and ceremonies, many of which involved food.

Pizza was by many of the Italian women in Youngstown for many years. Many Italian homes were equipped with large outdoor ovens where the women of the house would do their baking and cooking.  These women made pizza at home and brought it to church functions or sold it in the community to raise money for the parish.  When the church moved to its present location Turin Avenue in Brier Hill, a Catholic grade school was opened to accommodate the educational needs of the growing church population. However, the school suffered some financial setbacks and needed funds to remain open.

The church also needed to raise money and looked to their ethnic heritage for the answer. Under the direction of Reverend Monsignor John DeMarinis, the church began creating St. Anthony’s Church Brier Hill Pizza in 1974 to sell to the community at large. Church members and volunteers began making both pizza and Easter bread at the church, and the profits helped to fund the needs of the school and the church.

St. Anthony’s Brier Hill Pizza has its origins in traditional old world Italian pizza. Modeled after the pizza napoletana, Brier Hill pizza consists of a 12” round of dough, tomato sauce, Romano cheese (instead of traditional mozzarella),  and either bell or hot peppers. They also offer sausage as a topping choice if requested. In addition St. Anthony’s makes an egg pizza containing a special mixture of eggs, cheese, and occasionally peppers baked atop their pizza dough.  While many other locally owned businesses sell  their own versions of Brier Hill Pizza, St. Anthony’s remains true to its traditions and offers pizza in one size with only a few simple ingredients, making it uniquely their own.

Today St. Anthony’s Brier Hill Pizza is still made every weekend by dedicated volunteers of the parish. “Often imitated but never duplicated” is their tag line and while other businesses may sell the same type of pizza, St. Anthony’s has the history, community and traditions of its Italian heritage to keep its customers coming back for more.

To order St. Anthony’s Pizza:

Call the parish kitchen on Friday, no later than 11 a.m.  Pizzas should be picked up no later than 1 p.m.   Orders can be placed at the following telephone number: 330-746-9577.

More info:

A History of St. Anthony’s Parish

St. Rocco’s Church Italian Identity: A New Definition

Italian Collection

One Response to “St. Anthony’s Pizza”

  1. Pucci Castor says:

    I remember when I was in 1st grade at St. Anthony’s. My classroom was right down the hallway from the cafeteria. Every Friday morning the aroma of homemade pizza filled out classroom. I always made sure I had money to buy homemade pizza for lunch on Fridays!
    Pucci Castor, Naples, FL (originally from Girard, OH)

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