Buona, the original Italian beef, is uniting a city with divided loyalties, as the family-owned brand is now the official Italian beef of both the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox. While Buona's Italian beef and meatball sandwiches were served in both Wrigley and Guaranteed Rate Fields in 2016, 2017 marks the first year that Buona is the official beef of both ball clubs. In addition, the food line-up at Wrigley this year will include the introduction of Italian sausage and beef-and-sausage combo sandwiches from Buona. To celebrate Buona's status as the Official Beef of Chicago Baseball, Buona has enlisted first baseman Anthony Rizzo and Hall-of-Famer and former White Sox slugger Frank Thomas to rally both sides of Chicago fandom around the city's favorite sandwich.
"I'm proud to be working with Buona again this season, and honored that they will continue to support my Foundation," Rizzo says. "And I'm even prouder to represent the World Series Champs."
To which Thomas responded, "I love Chicago. And I love a beefy rivalry."
For the second straight year, Northsiders are proudly represented by Anthony Rizzo, and are happy to support the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation. To raise money for the charity, Buona has made "The Rizzo Way" fundraising sandwich—Italian beef topped with red gravy, mozzarella, and provolone cheese—a permanent part of its menu. Buona donates proceeds from every Rizzo Way sandwich sold. Additionally, the restaurants are donating all proceeds from sales of a collectible Anthony Rizzo World Championship cup to the Foundation, which helps patients and families who are facing the devastating impact of a cancer diagnosis. Rizzo himself is a cancer survivor.
"We are thrilled to be able to associate our brand with two amazing Chicago originals," says second-generation executive Joe Buonavolanto. "Both men share our commitment to supporting community and tradition. And supporting Anthony's Foundation makes it something our entire family can feel good about."
Buona is focused on exceeding its 2016 fundraising efforts. With the increased notoriety of the Rizzo Way sandwich and the addition of the collectible cup, the goal is to double its donation in 2017. The Rizzo Way sandwich and World Champion collectible cup are available at all of the 19 Chicagoland Buona restaurants.