Teacher Nick Caggiano and bank teller Joan Caggiano opened Nicola Pizza in Rehoboth Beach in 1971, selling homemade pizzas
out of their kitchen to pay hospital bills.
Second Vice President Kelly Munyan says quality and customer service are at the heart of the company’s success. “We never freeze our dough and mix it fresh on the premises every day. In fact, event though we are closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas, we have a cook who comes in just to mix for the next day to ensure its freshness.”
Munyan says Nicola Pizza wants to feel like the “Cheers” of Rehoboth Beach, and particularly strives to have a customer “tell a friend” about the pizzeria.
“Finally, we believe in the importance of being present,” Munyan says. “The majority of the days you will find more than one family member present and actively working at the business. We opened a second location in 2010 that is right next to our other location. With the proximity of the two, we are still able to be on site as needed to oversee the operations.”
Final decisions or big changes still go through Nick Sr., even at age 82. Like many of the FOBA honorees, family members learn all aspects of each job at the restaurant so they have a full understanding of how to make the restaurant a continued success. Nick Jr. earned his degree in hotel/restaurant management and has played a key role in expanding the menu to include salads, French fries and pasta dishes. And Kelly — Nick and Joan’s niece — started by working summers as a cashier before moving on to server. After moving to Rehoboth Beach, Joan trained her to handle the “front” staff with things like scheduling and interviewing before she was promoted
to manager when the second location opened.
Joan (Mama Nicola), who passed away in 2017, could meet you once and remember your name. Her spirit is alive and well in the company’s walls and leaders often ask “what would Joan do here?” says Munyan.
The list of famous people who have eaten at the restaurant includes Dave Grohl, Kathie Lee Gifford, Chelsea Clinton, Joe Biden, Linda Carter (aka Wonder Woman),
and Jon Bernthal.