TAMPA, Fla. - What happens when a Jersey boy falls in love with the Tampa Bay area? For Travis Keiser, it means he makes not only make it his home, but he opens a "slice" shop.
A "slice" shop is a pizza place that serves that thin-crust New Jersey or New York-style pizza with slices as big as a dinner plate.
"I grew up in New Jersey. I came down here in 2003 and went to school at the University of Tampa." shared Kaiser "The one thing that I thought was missing in this area was a ‘slice’ shop."
Kaiser had experience in the hospitality industry and had worked in a pizzeria with a friend, so when he and his wife decided to open a business, Tampa is where they landed and making that perfect slice was the goal.
"Sunny Florida is where I wanted to be," said Kaiser, who opened Santoro's Pizza in January. "We do a New Jersey-style, New York-style thin crispy crust, no flop. We are a traditional ‘slice’ shop."
Santoro’s customers come in and select a slice from several different pizzas in the display case. The restaurant offers other traditional items to select from as well.
"We have cannoli’s, Italian ice, a lot of the New Jersey, you know, boardwalk-style fare," shared Kaiser.
Kaiser's whole family is involved in this project, and his kids know the business as a second home.
"I came from the Shore, so I wanted to bring a slice from home," he explained. "I just wanted to be part of this Tampa culture."
And since its soft opening, Santoro’s experienced great support from the community.
"We're a UT family, so UT's been really great," shared Kaiser.
The next item on the agenda is being the best neighbor and the best local restaurant.
"We are focusing on being the neighborhood pizza spot, you know, you come in you get welcomed and everybody is friendly," said Kaiser.
The official grand opening is Sunday, March 7 at 3 p.m.
Santoro's is located at 1329 W Cass St, Tampa, FL 33606 just west of Willow Avenue.
Visit https://santorospizzeria.com/ to see a menu.