Lou Cobello is a former builder who came out of retirement in 2007 to open a pizzeria with his wife (Scarlet, a.k.a. Mimi), son (Lou, Jr.) and daughter (Tara). Located in Savannah, Georgia, Lou’s small New Jersey-style shop, Screamin’ Mimi’s Pizza & Subs, focuses on fresh ingredients atop a hand-tossed crust. We caught up with Lou during the Tour de Pizza stop at Screamin’ Mimi’s in June.
PT: You’ve developed quite a reputation in Savannah rather quickly, haven’t you?
LC: Well, there wasn’t anything like this here before we opened. We had another shop several years ago in New Jersey, so we already had the recipes and everything like that down pretty good … People like the pizza. We’ve gotten some good, loyal customers.
PT: What’s the secret?
LC: You just gotta treat people good and give ‘em good food. That’s it. That’s all there is to it. They like to see the owners. We’re here, we talk to them, we know their names. That’s important.
PT: Do you have to market and advertise aggressively when you do that?
LC: Not really. We don’t do much advertising. It’s about knowing the customers and having good relationships with them. We sit down with our customers. That’s what keeps them coming back. We’ve built this through referrals, word of mouth.
PT: How would you describe your pizza?
LC: It’s Jersey-style. We do large pies and oversized slices. We keep it simple. That’s the best way to do it.
PT: Why did you decide to get involved with the Tour de Pizza?
LC: It was a good way to get our name in front of the community and do something fun for the community. It’s been a really fun time having these guys (from the Tour de Pizza) here.