Since 1958, Corsi’s has relied on the personal touch to build a loyal following in Livonia, Michigan.

Founders Rocco and Adelia Corsi started out with a one-acre garden for their fresh produce and developed recipes through painstaking trial and error.




 

In 1958, Italian immigrants Rocco and Adelia Corsi moved to Livonia, Michigan, where a few family members had a pizzeria—and helped them grab their own slice of the pie. Corsi’s (corsisbanquethalls.net) opened with pasta dishes featuring homemade sauces and pizza crafted through painstaking trial and error by the couple. Even though Italian restaurants were almost unheard of in the area, a prime location near a new subdivision and shopping mall helped spread the word about the humble mom-and-pop shop. “They had a one-acre garden they’d bring in produce from,” says Penny Corsi, an owner and daughter-in-law of Rocco and Adelia, “and they’d make all their own soups and pastas, like gnocchi and lasagna.”

Eventually, other items, including veal and chicken main courses, were added to feed hungry diners, while in 1979 a new 300-seat banquet hall was built to host parties and special events (to this day, catering and banquet sales are a major focus of the operation). Meanwhile, the 45-seat restaurant does brisk business with dine-in and carryout patrons who have frequented the business through generations. 

But remaining competitive in an ever-changing neighborhood and tough economic times requires effort: The pizzeria regularly supports charities (such as the Make-a-Wish Foundation), hosts promotions with the local high school, offers online coupons and attracts customers with direct mailing programs. On the first Wednesday of each month, a buffet feast brings in families for unlimited pizzas, pastas and mains. “You’ll find fancier buildings, but not better food,” Penny laughs. “Probably 99% of people order the same thing every time they come in; for pizzas, we’re known for our great pepperoni, fresh ingredients and handmade dough.”

Indeed, the pizza has nabbed many “best of” awards in Livonia, but Corsi’s real secret weapon is its personal touch. Rocco and Adelia eventually passed the business to their sons, Louie and Dino (who both grew up in the business), and their wives, Penny and Karen—one of whom is always at Corsi’s to ensure quality control. “You need a lot of hard work and dedication to be in this business,” Penny notes. “You need to give people a great product and never skimp on quality. It’s something you have to put your heart and soul into.” 

 

Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

You’ll Laugh. You’ll Cry. You’ll Drool a Little Bit: 10 Hilarious Pizza Memes from Mikey’s Late Night Slice

A liquored-up Mr. Potato Head and a pink-clad Batman—what else could you ask for from a Facebook meme?

Where will the next stage of pizza’s evolution begin? Look to the East.

China is helping to reinvent the world’s most popular food, as members of the U.S. Pizza Team learned at this year’s Chinese Pizza Championship.

Cold comforts: Gear up for warmer weather with 11 proven ways to boost frozen dessert profits

If your pizzeria has a big hole where ice cream and gelato selections could go, here’s how to get started.

Fast-casual’s secret weapon: quick-baking ovens that can fire up a pie in 2 minutes or less

Customization is key for these operators, but it’s their secret weapon in the kitchen that has set the segment ablaze.

The third-party wave, part 2: How to use third-party delivery to expand your customer base without hurting your bottom line

Rick Drury, owner of Precinct Pizza in Tampa, details the advantages of splitting deliveries between an in-house team and an outside company.

The upside of a downturn, part 2: Catering to deal-seekers is not the answer!

Jeff Mease, owner of Pizza X in Bloomington, Indiana, says pizzerias thrive in challenging times by cultivating “real” customers, not “deal” customers.

Italforni USA ovens provide the best finish you can imagine!

Italforni offers the only fan-less conveyor oven that cooks directly on stone for a high-quality brick-oven bake.

Online restaurant reviews: Don’t feed the trolls!

Mikey’s Late Night Slice knows how to deal with haters—“kill them with kindness or logic them to death,” says co-owner Jason Biundo.

Italy’s father of pizza art meets … the Terminator?

Pizzaiolo Marco Fumai painted a pizza portrait of Arnold Schwarzenegger—and finally got to meet him in person!

How to hire a pizza maker—and the key traits to look for

Our Think Tank operators offer tips for finding the right person for this key position. (Hint: It’s not always about experience!)
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags