To support the next generation of women pizza pioneers, Christy Alia, founder of Women’s Pizza Month (March), has joined hands with Corto Olive Co. and Stanislaus Foods to award Pizza University scholarships to five aspiring pizzaiolas.

The scholarships are part of a new campaign by Corto and Stanislaus to raise the profiles of women pizza makers and encourage other women to start making pizza at home and, perhaps, move into the business. Also included in the campaign is a limited-edition “For the Love of Pizza” kit for home pizza makers.

Alia and a panel of industry judges will select the scholarship winners based on their ambition and inspiration, quality of craft, and support of women in the pizza industry. The recipients will be awarded a multiday intensive Master Pizza Seminar at Pizza University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Related: Women in Pizza: How pizzaiolos are shaping the industry’s future

The scholarship application process runs March 1 through May 15. Aspiring pizzaiolas can get more information and apply at

Alia is a seasoned pizza maker and champion of aspiring pizzaiolas. She learned the dough-making craft from her Sicilian-born grandfather, Angelo, who instilled in her a deep appreciation for unwavering standards, according to a press release.

In 2020, Alia created the @RealCleverFood account on Instagram to share insights, inspire others, and showcase her dough artistry. In March 2021, she founded the #WomensPizzaMonth campaign, a global celebration that invites the Instagram community to create and dedicate pizzas to inspiring women.

Using the hashtag #WomensPizzaMonth, the movement spotlights women pizza makers and their contributions. In its first few years, the campaign successfully united pizza enthusiasts worldwide, promoting cultural inclusiveness, empowering women, and highlighting women’s significant role in the pizza industry.

“This year, I dedicated my ‘Feta Empowerher Pizza’ to pizzaiola Sarah Minnick of Lovely’s Fifty-Fifty in Portland, Oregon, whose creativity and unwavering commitment to her values are truly admirable,” Alia said. “I hope everyone will join me in celebrating Women’s Pizza Month by dedicating a pizza to a woman who inspires them, posting it to Instagram [with the hashtag] #womenspizzamonth, and tagging @corto_olive and @stanislaustomatoes.”

Through an interactive podcast and club events, Alia also imparts her knowledge to home pizza makers, aiding them in refining their skills, and teaches private pizza and sourdough bread classes. She serves as a pizza consultant and recipe developer and contributes to charitable endeavors in her community. She has participated in fundraising pizza pop-ups and pizza communities like Slice Out Hunger, where she is an advisory board member, and Pizza Club.

Meanwhile, Corto Olive Co. and Stanislaus’ “For the Love of Pizza” kit will be available for a limited time at for $75. The kit is “dedicated to pioneering pizzaiolas and their commitment to the best ingredients and continual pursuit of elevating the craft of pizza,” the press release stated.

The kit will give home pizza makers access to many of the same ingredients—and techniques—professional pizza makers rely on. It includes:

  • Two Piccolo Datterini baby plum tomatoes in 12oz jars from Stanislaus (never before available to the public)
  • One TRULY 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil 500ml bottle from Corto
  • One Burlap & Barrel 0.6oz grinder-top jar of Oregano Flower Buds
  • One exclusive BAGGU “For The Love of Pizza” tote bag
  • A recipe booklet featuring exclusive pizza creations by inspiring professional pizzaiolas

“With the ‘For the Love of Pizza’ kit, the at-home chef now has access to the best pizza ingredients and new inspiration to join the global celebration of Women’s Pizza Month,” Alia said.

Tom Cortopassi, president of Stanislaus Foods, said his family runs Stanislaus Tomatoes and Corto Olive Co. “as a reflection of our Real Italian heritage. In both good times and lean times, eating well has always been a matter of family pride. As change-makers, the Cortopassi family recognizes, empowers and supports those that strive to elevate the pizza craft—at home and in restaurants. The launch of this Pizza Kit coincides with Women’s Pizza Month and is dedicated to the pioneering women in the pizza industry.”

The “For the Love of Pizza” campaign was spearheaded by a team of women at Corto and Stanislaus and was brought to life in partnership with women-owned agencies, including Flock (graphic design), Dadascope Communications (PR) and Good Things Done Right (social content).

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