CHICAGO – January 2012 –Chicago’s premium thin-crust pizza is proudly celebrating its 65th Anniversary this year. Family-owned and operated since 1947, Home Run Inn is the number one selling frozen pizza brand in the Chicagoland area and has distribution to grocery stores in over 20 states. Home Run Inn continues to serve its favorite pizza and other specialties to loyal customers at eight Chicagoland restaurant locations as well.
It all began with Mary and Vincent Grittani. When a winning run from a neighborhood baseball game shattered the front window of their newly purchased tavern in 1923, located at 4254 West 31st Street, the name Home Run Inn was established.
In 1942, their daughter, Loretta, married Nick Perrino, who like the rest of the World War II soldiers returning home, was searching for a means to support his new wife. In 1947, he formed a partnership with his mother-in-law and the rest is history. Together, they developed the recipe for Home Run Inn pizza as it is known today and served it to bar patrons to increase business. Who would have known that these free pizza samples would transform one day into a pizza empire!
Home Run Inn really took off in the late 1950s, when it became one of the first companies to expand into the frozen pizza business. The traditional style, all natural pizza soon was recognized for its irresistible flavor, featuring a hand-pinched buttery crust, tasty sauce, plentiful cheese and daily homemade sausage.
Nick and Loretta Perrino’s son, Joe, took the lead as Executive Vice President and then as President/CEO in 1990 when Nick passed away. With Joe’s aggressive vision, the company built USDA manufacturing facilities in 1987 and 1996 to keep up with the growing demand for its pizza. In 2002, the Home Run Inn family partnered with Jay Williams to form a direct store delivery distribution company called Power Play Distributors.
Under the leadership of Joe Perrino, the second Home Run Inn restaurant opened in Darien, IL, in 1987. Over the next two decades, Home Run Inn opened six more pizzerias in the Chicagoland area: one in Chicago; Addison; Bolingbrook; Melrose Park; Westmont; Hillside; and soon-to-open in Beverly, IL. The original 31st Street location continues to serve loyal generations of patrons.
Home Run Inn, which is composed of 8 working family members, credits its exceptional communication and effective leadership style to the company’s participation in the Loyola University Chicago Family Business Center, which provides “educational programming, peer advisory groups and networking opportunities to current and future generations of family business owners, all within a confidential learning environment.”
“The Perrino family embodies what the Loyola Family Business Center is all about,” says the Center’s Executive Director Andrew Keyt. “They understand the complexities of owning and operating a family business and pro-actively look for ways to educate and involve family members to keep the business vibrant and the family cohesive. Congratulations to Home Run Inn for 65 years of hard work and success!”
“Every family business would benefit from an institution like the Loyola Family Business Center in Chicago,” says CEO Joe Perrino. “Through this network of education and support, Home Run Inn continues to reinforce harmony within and prepare future family members for their roles to ensure growth and success.”
Today, Home Run Inn retains its position as the number one selling frozen pizza brand in the Chicagoland market.
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