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The Macey family couldn’t imagine White Oak without Veltre’s Pizza. So in July, when owner Vince Veltre announced his retirement after 37 years in the business, they resolved to do something about it.
Veltre’s of White Oak re-opened Monday as Patti’s La Cucina, operated by the Maceys, who opened Patti’s Pasticceria on Lincoln Way in 2011.
“We’ve always been Vince’s customers,” Andrew Macey, son of Patti’s La Cucina owner, Patti Macey, said. “He’s been a mentor to us.
“We can’t imagine White Oak without Veltre’s,” he said. “He’s done so much for the community — and we need some normalcy during COVID.”
There have been a few menu changes — Patti’s La Cucina has added meatballs, sauce, cakes, wedding soup and pasta to the Veltre’s menu — but Macey confirmed that Veltre’s employees are staying, and that the new owners intend to carry on Veltre’s legacy.
Veltre announced his retirement earlier this year on Facebook.
“As most of you have heard by now, I am retiring after 37 years of making you pizza,” Vince Veltre wrote. “Veltre’s Pizza will be changing ownership and will soon have a new name. Most of the employees and recipes will go unchanged, and I have faith that you will continue to love the food that we put out.”
Attempts to reach Veltre for comment this week were not successful.
Patti’s Pasticceria is located in the building on Lincoln Way that housed Veltre’s Pizza before that restaurant moved to the former location of Stan’s Restaurant on State Street.
Without Veltre moving to the new location, the Maceys said, “Patti's Pasticceria may never have happened.”
When Veltre offered the family the chance to buy the pizzeria, they accepted.
Macey said that from the beginning, when his mother opened Patti’s Pasticceria, she stressed the importance of bringing the community together, as well as taking care of their employees.
“We opened up sooner so people could work,” Macey said. “It’s all about putting people first, whether they’re employees or customers.”
Despite the pandemic — and having to adapt some of their business operations in the process — the merging of Veltre’s Pizza of White Oak and Patti’s Pasticceria was received well by the community, he said.
“The wider community reacted better than expected,” Macey said. “The customers have been wonderful.”
He also remains hopeful about the future.
“I want to see people sitting outside come spring, eating good food,” Macey said. “You always do your best for your family. We feel fortunate to be in this position. We’re here to make the community better.”
Patti’s La Cucina is currently open for takeout and delivery Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sarah Turnbull is a freelance writer in Irwin. This is her first story for Tube City Almanac. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Originally published December 15, 2020.