Pizza Connection’s origin story says a lot about the atmosphere and culture of the place.
We started as a joke among a group of Italian friends. One night, we sat together drinking wine and shooting bullshit into the early hours trying to find a name for the new Pizzeria.
As they drank, they fell to discussing some famous moments in the history of the Italian diaspora.
In 1987, 18 members of the Sicilian and American mafias were convicted for running a huge drug operation in the United States. Heroin was smuggled from Southwest Asia for processing in Sicily, cocaine smuggled from South America. The final distribution of the drugs was done out of pizzerias - humble local fronts for an international network of crime.
The operation was worth billions of dollars, and the process for investigating and prosecuting it was similarly huge. The trial lasted 17 months.
The media called it the Pizza Connection Trial.
“How funny would it be -” started one of the friends, and inspiration sizzled through the night like mozzarella in a wood oven.
While we have nothing to do with actual narcotics, we smuggle other addictive, decadent stuff from our pizzeria: Our two styles of pizza base — Napoletana and Romana — are made using a scientific, contemporary method to achieve the ideal levels of crispiness and fluffiness. Our tomato sauce is made using Italian San Marzano tomatoes. Our Fior di Latte Mozzarella, salami, Italian sausage, mortadella, guanciale, and pancetta are carefully selected and all imported directly from Italy. On top of this, we have a passion for fresh, locally sourced ingredients: fruits, vegetables, olive oil, seafood.
This is what sets our operation apart from the others in the city. We are the kingpins of an international network of pizza which comes together in Woodstock, Cape Town. The authorities would love to know what goes into our dough. Nobody’s gonna sing, though, capiche?