To see part II of this interview click here.
Jason Ranalli: So you have three restaurants now, a catering company, I think you sell wine – do you sell your own drinks too I think?
Brian Pieri: We have cobranded with a few companies – the distillery boom in Pennsylvania has been pretty massive so we’ve cobranded with some local distillers to do our own brand of vodka. We are doing infused vodkas and now we are starting to work with a local brewer and a local vineyard to try and do some house wine, some collaboration on special craft cocktails and craft beers. Again, just trying to do something a little bit differently. We could all drive up the store, buy a bottle of Grey Goose and make a martini, but at some point you have to define what your brand is and we are trying to do more collaborative stuff.
JR: As you look three, five or even seven years down the road, what are some of those longer-term goals that you have for your business and brand?
BP: You know what, we started to just sniff around merchandising and distributing some of the things that we already make whether this would be pasta, gelato, some of the core products that we have in some of our restaurants and looking to possibly brand those items.
JR: Kind of like DiBruno Bros?
BP: A little bit. Our next step is going to be developing packaging for some of our pasta so we could have Pieri Restaurants pasta and then use enough for catering and small gifts and then eventually exploring distribution under a larger level depending on how things feel. The same thing with gelato. I would love for one day to go in and see the gelato we’ve made in the house at supermarket up the street.
While that’s kind of more on the horizon, we probably have one more restaurant concept on the idea board for when the right opportunity comes along. The goal was to have 3 to 4 concepts to sort of support the whole company and then offshoots. We did the catering, we did a pop-up beer garden this summer. We might do a pizza truck or a food trucks
There are so many ideas that are floating on the idea board. Eventually one day we might be getting into a little bit of the wholesale distribution side.
Because as we have gotten bigger we’ve had to scale things up. We have a whole team that comes in and bakes every morning. It used to be the first guy in makes a couple loaves of bread and now we are making 130 loaves of bread a day. When going from four loaves of bread to distributing bread that’s a big gap but as that gap gets a little bit smaller those types of opportunities become more realistic.
JR: I honestly can’t believe how much you’re making from scratch when I see your social media posts.
BP: It would be 30 percent cheaper just to buy it. And to be completely frank, 50 percent of the customers wouldn’t mind either way. But again, our goal was we’re going to invest in doing it the most unique way that we’re capable of. We’re not reinventing the wheel by making things from scratch, we are just willing to take on that effort and that work to do it and then hopefully doing it at a higher level.
To check out Brian’s restaurants visit