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About Abo's Pizza

STEVE ABO and ABO'S PIZZA Professional History & Company Vision Between 1972 and 1977, Boulder, Colorado was a scenic college town, heavily influenced by the tastes and finances of 20,000 college students who populated Boulder on a part-time basis. Enter Steve Abo, a college student at the University of Colorado (CU) who did not fit the typical student mold striving to become a doctor, lawyer, or corporate stuffed shirt. Rather, he enjoyed the more casual approach to academics, dabbling in generic 101 studies while hanging out with free-spirited Ivy League grads who loved their guitars and fought regular cravings for foods from back East, specifically, New York. At that time, there was not a place to be found in Boulder to appease the appetite for a slice, a slice of New York Pizza that is. Abo and his friends often complained that there was no place in town to "fill the munchie." After one too many complaints from the group, Abo decided he was going to do it. He was going to bring the first New York Pizza to Boulder, both literally and figuratively. Shortly thereafter, Abo dropped out of CU and went back home to New York City for six months where the seeds of a Boulderite entrepreneurial success story began. Through a family connection his father had with Rocky Graziano, the 1947-1948 Middle Weight Boxing Champion, Abo had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work (for free) as a pizza business apprentice to Graziano. Graziano owned his own successful pizzeria chain in New York City, a pizza place to not only to satisfy the New Yorker's addiction to the proverbial slice, but also a spot with a legendary past in fronting for the mob. Fueled with the desire to learn everything about the pizza business from scratch, Abo worked for Graziano for six months. To the eager-to-learn Abo, Graziano's head pizza chef Frankie would say "just watch." After "watching" for five months, Abo decided he "got it" and started making pizzas and filling ovens. He was ready to move back to Boulder to begin bringing a slice of New York to this once ordinary food town. But what Steve Abo "got" during his apprenticeship was more than an authentic technique for hand tossing a crust or building a superb tasting pie with a secret Graziano family sauce recipe. He got a really big bug for a business venture that would grow into a 27 year-old entrepreneurial success story. In 1977, Abo opened the first Abo's Pizza on University Hill.