We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexandra Lunardon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexandra, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
My dad taught me a thing or two about sacrifice and risk. Although I know I’ve both given and taken some good advice over the years, I don’t think any of it compares to his. At 42, he packed up his whole family in Argentina and came to a new world to make it better for his children. As a youngster, I didn’t entirely understand the upheaval, but when I reached 42 myself, it became crystal clear — it’s now or never. When my parents passed away — and in order to keep everything that they labored and sacrificed so much for — I worked three jobs all while trying to make my business grow. I soon realized that I was sinking, and I needed to concentrate on my restaurant or get rid of it. Leaving behind all the income I was making to concentrate on my own failing business was the biggest risk I’ve ever taken. The desperation I felt pushed me to find ways to succeed. Being creative and open to new concepts is my daily calculated risk but very necessary to continue the growth of my business, especially during the pandemic.
What should our readers know about your business?
Established in 1957, Antonio’s Pizzeria is one of the oldest restaurants in the San Fernando Valley. We are proud to be one of the few non-franchised, family style restaurants remaining in the San Fernando Valley and to be named a California.com recommended business for 2020. We have survived developing food trend by serving generous portions of classic Italian dishes — like spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna and our famous pizza — for over 60 years. Growing with the times and reimagining some old school favorites to meet evolving contemporary needs, we now offer a full gluten-free menu with vegan options, including pizza. One of our main goals is to provide excellent Italian food options for even those with restrictive diets. We provide an authentic Italian experience, from top-quality traditional food to our familial rapport with customers. Our mission statement in short-Real. Simple. Tasty.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One of my favorite thing about California is the versatility and the weather. Being in LA I’m in the middle of it all. I love the nuttyness of Venice Beach and love to ride the bike path or head to Mammoth Mountain and do some skiing, depending on the time of year. I love going to Dodger games and will always get a game in with any visitor, as long as they are in season. A drive to San Diego or a boat ride to Catalina Island also make the list.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am so incredibly thankful for my Mom and Dad’s sacrifices, I can say for sure that my brother and I wouldn’t be here without them. I’d like to give a shoutout to my brother (and partner) Steve for being open to new ideas and change so we can move forward in growing our business. Finally, customers! I Recognize that my regular customers as the reason we succeed, their support and feedback allow us to move forward and our new customers that take a chance on a small business allow us to grow.