The Milano’s name has been associated with classic sub sandwiches in the area for a very long time. In May of 2009, siblings Robert Amaral and Elizabeth Law purchased the business from Manual and Zenaida Ferriera, their uncle and aunt. “They had owned the business for many years and decided it was time to retire. Rob approached me and asked if I would be his business partner,” says Law. The two worked in the business for a couple of months prior, to determine if it was a good fit. “Rob had previous experience in service industries and I was working in the corporate world. This was very appealing. I liked the challenge and have enjoyed running the business.”
After taking over Milano’s, they made some subtle changes to help it grow, although most of the original staff were kept on. “We have a great clientele, with a lot of repeat customers. We focused on expanding our lunch business, offering jumbo slices of pizza at lunch among other things and providing a fast lunch service” says Amaral.
They both credit their spouses for being very supportive and understanding as they established and grew the business. “We knew we had to be in front of our customers. We own and operate the business,” says Amaral. The business currently employs a couple staff members who are trained on all aspects of the business, from taking calls to making the food. “Customer service is key in this type of business. We appreciate what our staff bring to the table. We are a little family around here,” adds Law. Both Amaral and Law enjoy being in the kitchen. “Food has been at the center of all our family functions. We both enjoy it and get to be a little creative with it as well.”
They also offer old-fashioned style subs, as well as a variety of wraps, salads and gyros. “All our subs are made to order on a freshly-baked sub bun. If a customer wants a warm sub, we bake them,” says Amaral. Fresh salads are also made to order. “Our gyros are very popular. So are our baked panzerottis.” Catering is also a growing part of the business. They do weddings, lunch-and-learns and catering for offices, meetings etc. “We offer menu items for catering, but also sandwich and wrap platters along with salads,” says Law. “If we can accommodate the customer, we will. We like doing these types of orders,” adds Amaral. Their pizza is the main attraction. “Our pizza is a classic hand-tossed stone oven-baked pizza. It takes more time than a conventional fast food pizza, but you get a really nice quality and different taste and texture. We have an old-fashioned dough recipe. It was from one of our other uncles who was a baker. It’s not your typical pizza dough. Quality and freshness is very important. Our sauce and dough are made fresh daily. We understand that customers have options and appreciate their business very much,” says Amaral.
For more information visit: www.milanospizzeria.ca
In May of 2017, the first edition of Year of Local was released. They are available for purchase at The Book Keeper. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the local Sarnia-Lambton charities featured in the book.