Local

An Interview with Cono Trezza from Sea Bright Pizza

Who would think Sea Bright is the Pizza Capital of New Jersey? I would, that’s who! You all know that […]

Who would think Sea Bright is the Pizza Capital of New Jersey? I would, that’s who! You all know that if I had one last meal, it would be pizza and chocolate chip cookies. So, I kind of fancy myself a pizza afficianado, if you will. Because I love you all, today I am sharing with you where I would get that last pizza. My favorite pizza place. That’s a big statement. HUGE. I introduce to you the one and only Sea Bright Pizza. Sea Bright Pizza has been a popular local pizza place on the New Jersey Shore for a long time. Cono Trezza and some partners bought it in 1988. It was as retro as it gets. Then, a building down the block became available and Cono bought that by himself and totally renovated it. A stone facade for the counter where the pizza was displayed and exposed brick walls. And very cool New Jersey and pizza memorabilia. Ten months later, Superstorm Sandy hit and destroyed everything. Almost 1 year later, Trezza opened again, and Sea Bright Pizza has been making pizza lovers across New Jersey very happy ever since. My favorite at SBP is Luca’s pie (named after his son) and it’s basically an upside down pizza – the cheese is underneath the sauce. Lucky Luca, that’s all I have to say. Because I love SBP’s Luca’s Pie so much and because Sea Bright Pizza is such an institution around here, I thought it necessary to interview Cono. I have to say, it is quite interesting and a little amusing. It’s a short must read. Enjoy.

 

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Tell us a little bit about yourself and how Sea Bright Pizza came to be?
My family and I moved here from Brooklyn. First, we had a restaurant in Tinton Falls named Portobello. My dream always was to have a pizzeria by the Shore and when Sea Bright Pizza was for sale, I bought it.

Why Sea Bright?
I love the Shore, Sea Bright and the surrounding areas.

How old were you when you made your first pizza?  Where did you make your first pizza?
I made my first pizza when I was 16 in Brooklyn, when I came here from Italy in 1980.

 

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I feel like there is a secret ingredient to your pizza, am I imagining things? Is it a secret family recipe? Tell us what it is!
You are not imagining things and no, I will not tell you!

How old were you when you went into business for yourself?
24, with partners.

Tell us about a career highlight.
About 4 years ago, I competed in a World Pizza Competition in Rome and came in 2nd Place for Best Looking Pizza. Unfortunately, my trophy and plaque were lost in Superstorm Sandy.

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What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in running a business?
If you want something done right, do it yourself. This is a big lesson everyone should learn.

If you could do anything else besides owning a pizza shop, what would you do?
I would own a Bed and Breakfast place by the water.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?
When I’m not working, I like to spend time with my wife and boys and I also like to travel.

Please tell us a random fact about yourself that we would be surprised to know.
I used to be a hairdresser!

Thank you, Cono for sharing a little bit of history about Sea Bright Pizza and yourself. Thank you also for making the best pizza!

Comments7

  1. Allison

    A hairdresser, who knew? Truly a man of many talents. Thank you for such a nice local piece Carrie!

    • Thank you, Allison! The hairdresser answer – best part of the whole piece – I love him for that and for his pizza!

  2. marion

    2/11/2016 – So glad for this post on FB as I had wondered what became of Portobello in Tinton Falls. Will be sure to check you out when there again, as the big place that took over the former Post Office seems to get all the crowds/PR. Can’t even remember its name but saw people sitting out to curbs there last summer, and feeling very sad for the many fulltime residents living behind that place, as it is a bar basically with pizza (out of Red Bank Galleria).

    • So glad someone who had been to Portobello saw the article! I have never been there, but sure wish I had.

  3. Jim Katsin

    I think even funnier is Cono’s middle name.

  4. Lara

    Cono the hairdresser makes the BEST pizza around!