Frank and Michelle Floreno mark 42nd year in business
IMLAY CITY — So how do you like your pizza?
With mushrooms and green peppers? Bacon and sausage? How about anchovies and ham?
No matter your preference, Pizza Machine owners Frank and Michelle Floreno are positive they can make the perfect pizza to please your palate.
In business together at 110 S. Almont Ave. for the past 20 years, the couple measures their continuing success by the steady flow of customers that walk through the door.
“We’re not your ordinary pizza place,” Michelle insisted. “We are celebrating 42 years in business and we’re still going strong.”
So strong, that the Florenos want to dispel rumors that the business might be closing, or that it is in the process of being sold.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Michelle said. “We’ve been able to stay open throughout the pandemic and we’re here to stay.”
Frank admitted the business had reduced its hours somewhat due to the challenges of finding help.
However, he said they have no intention of closing their doors; nor do they have an interest in selling the business.
To the contrary, other than having to adopt COVID-19 safety protocol (masks and distancing), the Pizza Machine has managed to successfully survive the pandemic.
“Fortunately, neither of us got sick,” Frank said. “Neither of us got COVID and we’ve been able to stay open.”
Michelle attributed Pizza Machine’s continued success to producing outstanding products.
“People come here in search of authentic pizza, and that’s what we give them,” she said.
“We’re like a ‘mom and pop’ shop, and we make pizza that people want to keep coming back for.”
While not giving away any trade secrets, Frank noted the business uses a stone oven that is capable of producing “one-of-a-kind” pizzas with a distinct flavor.
He cited three important ingredients contained in every Pizza Machine pizza.
“It’s all about the dough, the sauce and the oven,” Frank said. “I also think our pizza sauce is a little sweeter than others.”
It’s not only the pizza pies that have customers clamoring to the business; it’s the myriad of other offerings, including Michelle’s popular homemade desserts; about 700 of which are sold every month.
One of Michelle’s favorite locations in the store is standing behind the candy counter.
The candy counter offers a variety of old-fashioned and theater-style candies, including candy and bubble gum cigarettes, Chuckles, candy buttons, and Necco and Satellite wafers; among other selections.
The Pizza Machine’s walls are filled with photos, mementos and past newspaper articles extolling the business.
While business tends to be brisk, Frank and Michelle recall a few times when they had to make more than 300 pizzas in a single day.
“Those were usually orders from local businesses or for special occasions,” Frank said.
Pizza Machine, Inc. is located at 110 S. Almont Avenue at the southwest corner of Third Street in downtown Imlay City.
To place an order, call 810-724-2088.