Story by Rick Hynum | Photos by Bianca Calascibetta
Giuliana Calascibetta isn’t just the face of her family’s pizza brand, Cam’s Pizzeria, in Rochester, New York. With a dynamic and ever-growing presence on social media—from Twitch to TikTok and all major platforms in between—she’s a brand unto herself. She’s like the Taylor Swift of pizza—alluring yet down-to-earth, endlessly creative and eminently watchable. And, like Swift, no one in the business outworks her. Because even when she’s chatting with her 115,000-plus followers on Twitch—where she’s known as Pizza Princess G—Giuliana’s on the job, building pie after pie in Cam’s kitchen, waiting on customers, training new employees—and making it all look like the most fun job on the planet.
“I would describe Giuliana as the glue of the company,” says Bianca Calascibetta, who has played a critical role in shaping and implementing every brand touchpoint over the past decade. While Bianca focuses on developing the brand’s larger vision, her younger sister, along with their operations director, Jason Benton, manages all six Cam’s locations. “G has her hands on everything—operations, marketing, promotions, even new product development.”
True enough. But at just 26, Giuliana, in partnership with her 32-year-old big sis, is also reinventing pizza marketing for Gen Z along the way. And while old-school operators can’t duplicate their style, they can learn a thing or two from it.
“For me personally, the way I gain respect in the company and from my employees is by working. If you don’t work, no one’s going to take you seriously.”
— Giuliana Calascibetta
Creating the Cam’s Culture
Check out Cam’s videos on Instagram, and you know right away: This isn’t your father’s pizzeria, even though it was founded by the sisters’ dad, Cam Calascibetta, as a classic New York-style pizza joint in Geneva, New York, 43 years ago. Their brother, Carmelo, now operates the Rochester-area locations (with an uncle and others who oversee another six stores under the same name outside the area), but it’s the sisters who run the show. And under their leadership, it’s a whole different vibe: the home of the Crazy Slice—think pizza topped with wontons and duck sauce, or fish sticks and tartar sauce—and a culture that embraces innovation, merrymaking and youthful exuberance.
After all, “Giuliana” means “youthful” in Italian. And the younger Calascibetta sister—who mostly goes by G for short—lives up to the name. She’s the best friend you want to hang out with all summer long, dreaming up oddball pizza recipes—she’s the mad scientist behind those Crazy Slices—and shooting videos brimming with positive energy. Her brand is winsome charm and good humor. And talk to her for a while, and you’ll see it’s not an act. She is authentically herself on and off camera.
That also makes her the kind of boss you want to work for. That, and a work ethic no baby boomer can deny. Just watch her Twitch stream, which runs roughly 50 hours a week live from the Cam’s store that she manages every day. She was almost certainly the first pizzeria operator to ever stream live from Twitch. But she’s never goofing off.
“I’m always at the restaurant,” she says. “It’s funny because people tune into the stream and they’re, like, ‘This isn’t right. I’ve never seen a district manager making the food. Usually they’re telling other people what to do.’ But for me personally, the way I gain respect in the company and from my employees is by working. If you don’t work, no one’s going to take you seriously. And I don’t want to be the big boss. I don’t take pride in being the boss. I just want us to get the perfect pie out there. I don’t care about the recognition. I want to work as a team, and that’s what fulfills me.”
“If I have employees who come into the pizzeria to visit me or just hang out on their days off, I win, because I know they love it here. They feel safe.”
— Giuliana Calascibetta
And when it’s hiring time, she looks for teammates who match her vibe. “I don’t want to work or hang out with a bunch of people who don’t have a good personality,” Giuliana says. “I want to find people I can be friends with. Because not only is it work, this is my life.”
When Giuliana first assumed the role of district manager for Cam’s, she headed to her alma mater, St. John Fisher University in Rochester, and staked out a spot in the library to find employees. “I’d have students come sit with me, and I would literally be like, ‘Are you cool? What do you like to do in your free time? What’s your favorite candy bar and why?’ I just cut to the nitty-gritty. I want to know your personality because—and this is something I learned from my father—you can train a person in a job, but you can’t train a good personality.”
From the Calascibetta sisters’ perspective, the harder you work, the cooler you are. But they’re keenly aware that hiring and retaining top-notch staff is more challenging than ever. That’s why creating a positive, uplifting culture at Cam’s Pizzeria is so important. “We’ve attracted great team members through the culture and the high morale, and we have organized a lot of company outings and other things just to build on the culture,” Bianca notes. “We have attracted a lot of great people, including managers and shift runners, through that innovative approach.
“If I have employees who come into the pizzeria to visit me or just hang out on their days off, I win, because I know they love it here,” Giuliana adds. “They feel safe. And I’ve achieved that with all the locations, and I’ve never been more proud.”
Seizing Twitch by the Tail
Gen Z employees also want to feel part of something bigger than themselves, the sisters point out. And Cam’s Pizzeria offers that in spades, with Giuliana as the fun-loving face of the brand and Bianca working behind the scenes, essentially as CMO. First, there’s the Twitch account, @pizzaprincessg. Giuliana launched it during COVID-19, because most of her employees were staying home and she often found herself working alone.
“It was usually just me running the show, and, with the masks, I could barely even talk to the customers,” Giuliana recalls. “I’m very much a people person, so that really killed me. I missed seeing people smile…and it was just super lonely.”
One day, during a lull at the pizzeria, she downloaded the Twitch app on her phone. “I’d never watched a single stream,” she says. “I didn’t really know what was going on. But I just pressed ‘Go Live.’ I just did it. And people started showing up….In the beginning, it was, like, three people. But after a week, I was getting up to, like, 300 to 500 viewers.”
Why would anyone just sit at a computer and watch a total stranger make pizza? Because it’s Giuliana, and she’s no stranger to anyone for long. When she’s not working, she’s joking with her followers, answering their questions, teaching them about pizza. If she’s having a bad day, she might break down and cry. Again, on or off camera, she’s always just Giuliana.
She even streams live on Twitch during health inspections. “My followers have seen it all,” she says. “I don’t hide anything.”
And they love her for it. Twitch fans now make pilgrimages from all over the region—and from as far away as Australia—to Cam’s Pizzeria, hoping to meet Giuliana. Many of them even pay to watch her livestream without ads.
Bianca says it’s difficult to quantify the Twitch stream’s impact on sales, but that’s not really the point. “Twitch helps showcase the brand’s personality, which comes from G, while making it more relatable and more accessible,” Bianca says. “In terms of perception, Twitch has really solidified our image as a cutting-edge and forward-thinking brand, especially in our marketplace. It’s signaling to others that we’re very adaptable to trends and we’re in tune with modern consumer habits.”
Of course, livestreaming on Twitch means Giuliana always has to be “on.” Not just as an entertaining presence, but as a pizza professional. “Not only am I working the job, but I also have an audience of a thousand people watching my every move,” she says. “My pizzas need to look 10 times more perfect, because everybody’s seeing them. When I speak to customers, I have to be that much better, because all these people are hearing me. But it’s also the right thing to do. It keeps me accountable. And, knowing myself, being held accountable is very good for me and my personal growth—and for the pizzeria, too.”
The Crazy Slice
Also good for the pizzeria: Giuliana’s vivacious video presence on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook. Which brings us to the Crazy Slice, a focal point of Cam’s marketing strategy. Every week, Giuliana, along with Benton, dreams up a new weird pizza, and every week Bianca edits and posts videos of her sister making the pie and sampling it on camera. The Instagram Reels alone earn anywhere between 21,000 and 66,000 plays organically; lately, 50,000 and up has been the norm.
Some Crazy Slices are crazier than others. A cheeseburger or taco slice might be followed by a slice topped with gummy candy shaped like anchovies. One featured Easter bunny Peeps with cheese. There was a Chicken Pot Pie slice, another loaded with Ritz crackers and peanut butter, even a Tuna Melt slice.
“From a marketing perspective,” Bianca explains, “I wanted to hit three main goals. One, I wanted to focus on strengthening brand awareness. Two, I wanted to focus on giving more life to the brand. And third, I wanted to keep things fresh and exciting.”
The Crazy Slice livens up the work week for the staff, too. Each new slice is kept under wraps until Sunday night, when the managers get the word, along with detailed instructions on making the pizzas. Employees only find out on Monday morning. “They love the idea,” Giuliana says. “They get a free slice every shift. And we tell the employees to talk about it to customers—talk about the Crazy Slice with M&Ms. You can’t just let them walk past it, as if it speaks for itself. You need to talk about it. And if, in your heart, you don’t want to do that, let’s discuss the importance of it: It’s exciting, it’s never been done or seen before.”
Bianca adds, “The Crazy Slice allowed us to be, like, the unicorn in a zoo filled with lions and zebras. People are going to see the unicorn because it’s an unforgettable experience.”
No doubt the future holds more unforgettable experiences for Cam’s customers and staff, fans of the Pizza Princess and the company itself. But one thing will never change: Giuliana will always be a people person, and Cam’s Pizzeria will always be about people. “When I started managing the pizzerias, my father told me, ‘It’s not a pizza business. It’s a people business.’ And I was, like, what does that mean?” she recounts. “But as the years go by, you realize it really is all about the people. You’re only as good as the people you work with. And that has stuck with me to this day.”
Rick Hynum is PMQ’s editor in chief.