Pupatella, the award-winning Neapolitan pizzeria that has won over pizza lovers with two locations in Virginia, has secured an investment of $3.75 million from several notable private investors to fuel expansion in the Washington, DC metro area. As many as eight company-owned pizzerias are planned over the next 36 months.
Husband and wife founders Enzo and Anastasiya Algarme started Pupatella as a food truck in 2007, then opened their first pizzeria to great accolades in Arlington in 2010. “In my home of Naples, classic Neapolitan pizza can be found on every corner. After not finding pizza like home, I became passionate about sharing the delicious food of my youth. We are thrilled to bring more Pupatella pizzerias to our Washington-area neighbors,” says Algarme.
Pupatella’s “back to the basics” approach to classic Neapolitan pizza was a resounding success and prompted a partnership with founding partners of Elevation Burger in 2016 to grow the brand through franchising and corporate development. Most recently, the company has brought in Adam Winder as a partner and chief financial officer. An experienced banker specializing in corporate strategy, Winder led the recent capital raise. “The Pupatella leadership team and its unique position in the marketplace as an authentic Neapolitan, neighborhood-centric, casual format pizzeria makes for an exciting niche and rapid growth opportunity,” says Winder.
Pupatella’s first franchisee, Zeeshan Kaba, opened a successful pizzeria in Richmond’s Fan District in 2017 and is debuting his second of four pizzerias in Glen Allen this fall. While Kaba continues the company’s success in Richmond, the Pupatella team is focused on corporate expansion in the DC Metro area. “With our established brand and the strength of our investment partners, we are positioned for successful and well-paced growth in the Washington metro area and beyond,” says Michael Berger, founding partner and head of real estate & supply chain.
Pupatella proudly achieved certification by the Naples-based Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN) and remains obsessed with maintaining the authenticity and quality of the pizza in all of its upcoming pizzerias. The pizza is made according to nearly 150-year-old Neapolitan techniques, and the dough is prepared with only four ingredients: 00 Italian flour, sea salt, fresh yeast, and water. Each pizza is baked in a traditional wood-fired oven made of brick from Mount Vesuvius and cooks in around 90 seconds. Ingredients are imported weekly from Naples.
In addition to its classic Neapolitan fare, Pupatella is also known for its convenient and affordable format. Guests order at the counter and then are seated to enjoy full tableside service from the Pupatella staff. A robust menu of red and white pizzas, friggitoria (Italian fried food), small plates and salads is complemented by select wines and a rotating offering of craft beers, which also makes Pupatella a favorite for date nights.
Pupatella has consistently been named one of the country’s best pizzerias, receiving accolades from The Washington Post, USA Today, MSN.com, Washingtonian, Eater and Business Insider.
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