Brooklyn Stories of Strength: Meet Vito

Posted on 07/09/22 by Freida Rothman

Introducing: Stories of Strength

To meet Vito is to love him. Emerging from a cloud of flour with a smile that could fill all of Brooklyn, this acclaimed pizza connoisseur of J&V Pizza radiates positivity, hope, and the American dream. To him, Brooklyn is everything. It is the place he calls home, the generations of people he loves, and the streets that inspire him to wake up every day with joy. 

“You have to be positive in life - positivity is success."

- Vito

Inspiring conversations from a famed pizzeria in the heart of Brooklyn

FR: Hi everyone! Good morning. I am here with Vito in Brooklyn. I grew up right near here and I am so happy to meet Vito. So Vito, tell us about your background.

Vito: I came to the United States in 1975. I was 15 years old. I didn’t know anything when I came here. Slowly, I started working in pizzerias, did the best I could, and learned. Thank God I survived.

FR: Did you learn to make pizza here or back home?

Vito: I started how to make pizza here in New York. I learned it on Wall Street back in the day. And then I came to Brooklyn in the 90’s. It’s family business now.

FR: What does Brooklyn mean to you?

Vito: Brooklyn means everything to me. It’s my legacy. It gave me a chance in life. New York is the best state.

FR: My grandparents were Holocaust survivors and they came to Brooklyn in search of a better life. It’s a safe space for them.

Vito: You have to be positive in life. Positivity is success. Negativity is a loser. 

FR: So tell me how do you stay positive?

Vito: Just get up everyday and pray to God that you see another day, you are still alive and healthy. You keep on going. 

FR: That’s my motto too. To always see the good. I talk to people and they think we are lucky to have come here to the United States.

Vito: It wasn’t easy when I came here. I was struggling. God gave me family and beautiful kids. They all went to school, two sons and a daughter. My youngest is going to medical school. I am so proud of them. Life is great! You have to make the best out of it. You have to stay positive.

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