Sitting just behind the apartments on Rowan Boulevard, Pizza University is the latest edition to Glassboro and by extension Rowan’s food scene after opening its doors on October 2nd. Serving up New York-style pizza with other common pizzeria fares, Pizza University aims to ingrain itself within Rowan’s community, especially those who live in the Nexus Properties buildings just across the street.
In the last two weeks, the business has started accepting Rowan bucks in order to widen access to the community. The pizzeria also offers dollar slice nights on Wednesdays from 4-7:30 p.m., a deal for college students trying to save money. The restaurant plans to host a grand opening ceremony in the near future, which they are currently organizing with the chamber of commerce.
Pizza University was started by Ron DeMarchi, 53, Ryan Madden, 46, and Brad Marchesano, 42, all of the Vineland Police Department. DeMarchi recently retired after more than 25 years on the force and was approached by a friend who owned the building. The location was formerly Little Sicily but stood empty for three years after Little Sicily moved locations.
The name itself was chosen by the group in an effort to ingrain themselves into the Rowan community. The slogan “Come eat some Effiin’ Pizza” was chosen in a brainstorming session DeMarchi had at home, where he jokingly asked, “What do I have to do to sell this, I know it’s really F-ing good!?” After making the group laugh with that, he ran with it.
DeMarchi is no stranger to the pizzeria game, with his father working in the when he was growing up in the Linwood area. He made pizzas as a teenager, learning the craft from a pizzeria called “2 Cousins” that used to be in Vineland. Madden also worked in a few different pizzerias in high school and Marchesano made pizzas with his mother growing up.
They make their dough and sauce every two to three days in-house, with dough needing to be prepared a day or so in advance, due to the bulk fermentation process that needs to occur. The trio try to source as many of their ingredients locally as possible, with their sausage coming from Serra Sausage in Vineland and their beef for burgers from Main Meats in Vineland.
With a large portion of Rowan’s student body coming from North Jersey, Pizza University wanted to appeal to the thinner style of pie that can be found closer to New York.
“South Jersey pizza tends to be doughy, we aim to be more similar to North Jersey, which has a much thinner crust,” said DeMarchi.
All three of them have children, who pop in and out of the restaurant throughout the week. They try to operate the restaurant like a family, having all known each other for more than 20 years. So far, just the three of them are making the pizza, because they want to keep it as family-run as possible. Madden and Marchesano are still on the force, so the scheduling can be tricky, but one of the three of them will be there every day.
“We’re just having fun, it’s like family now, we have so much support from the police department and the community so far,” Madden said.
Madden went on to speak about the desire to have something to leave to his children when they get older, both the skill of making pizzas and a family business.
“So they don’t have to become a police officer,” Madden said in a joking manner.
With the holidays coming up, Pizza University is hoping to stand out. On Friday, Dec. 1, during Glassboro’s tree lighting ceremony, they are going to be having dollar slices for a few hours during the event, with the hopes that Santa might stop in for a slice!
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