Chef Tony Gemignani of Tony’s Pizza Napoletana and nearly two dozen eateries around the West Coast has penned his first franchise deal for his Slice House concept, starting with Thousand Oaks.
Slice House serves five different styles of pizza — traditional American, thin-crust New York, grandma square pizza, Sicilian, and cheesy Detroit — and is “more casual and takeout-friendly” than Gemignani’s popular Pizza Rock.
Moreover, the concept does not intend to provide Neapolitan or wood-fired pies, but instead “will serve pizza by the slice in rotating flavors, plus whole pies priced between $19 and $37.”
Per Eater LA, “[The] Thousand Oaks [location] will feature indoor seating for about 20, plus a raised and covered patio decked out with 30-some seats, TVs, heaters, and fans.”
In late 2022, before the franchise deal had been made, WNLA reported on the exciting, incoming Thousand Oaks location, positing that the restaurant would be owned and operated by Tony Gemignani, George Karpaty, Trevor Hewitt, and Bill Ginsburg.
However, we’ve now learned that Vinny Margott and his family will be the franchisees for Thousand Oaks and handfuls of other incoming SoCal locations.
Read on for WNLA’s exclusive interview with Margott:
WNLA: How many SoCal locations do you hope to be in charge of?
VM: We are thrilled to own the Thousand Oaks, Sherman Oaks, and West Hills locations, as well as the Santa Clarita/Valencia, Ventura/Oxnard, and Pasadena/Altadena markets.
We see great potential for growth and success with Slice House in Southern California. Our initial plan is to open 5-7 locations and expand every 12-18 months, potentially quicker with more stores under our management.
We believe that the quality of Tony Gemignani’s product can be successful in every area, and we are excited to see where this journey takes us. We have no limit to our goals with Tony’s brand.
WNLA: How did this franchise agreement come about? Why Slice House?
VM: We began our journey to acquire a franchise agreement with Slice House by conducting thorough research and due diligence to identify potential franchise opportunities that aligned with our family’s values and aspirations. Slice House stood out to us due to its commitment to exceptional product quality, customer service, and strong brand recognition.
Additionally, Tony Gemignani’s 13x world champion status, recent G.O.A.T series episode for MasterClass, and his exceptional character made him an ideal partner for us. We are extremely satisfied with our decision, and the team behind Tony at all levels has been outstanding.
Important to us was a product we could easily stand behind, and no one does pizza better than Tony. We will have many of his amazing products that have been showcased at Tony’s critically acclaimed Tony’s Pizza Napoletana and Pizza Rock, including amazing gluten-free, vegan options as well; we are very plant-forward with vegan pepperoni, chorizo, and more.
We will carry Tarantula Hill, Energen, Institution, and Made West to support local craft breweries for our Thousand Oaks store.
WNLA: Who else is part of your team?
VM: Besides myself, we have a talented and experienced team working with us to ensure the success of our Slice House locations.
My father, Mychael Margott, serves as the President of the locations and oversees vendor relationships, financials, and other important aspects of the business.
My mother, Cynde Patai, is also an owner and will be actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the store. She will be present in the front of the house to ensure the highest standards of customer service are met.
Catherine Margott, my stepmother, is another owner and will serve as our brand ambassador, building relationships with local charities and events to raise awareness of our brand.
Furthermore, we have hired Thor Dahl as our General Manager, and we couldn’t be more excited about his joining our team. With over 20 years of restaurant experience, Thor has run multiple locations for Shake Shack, and Umami Burger, and started his career with Outback Steakhouse, where he became a managing partner with his name on one of their buildings. Thor is also a certified chef by the Katsuya Sushi Group, which adds further acclaim to his already impressive resume.
With such a talented and experienced team, we are confident in our ability to provide exceptional service and quality to our customers.
WNLA: What is your background before Slice House?
VM: Our family has extensive experience running businesses in the window covering and replacement window industries.
We have owned and operated businesses with over 300 employees, generating over 20 million dollars in annual sales. Therefore, we are well-versed in providing excellent customer service, and leading and managing a successful business.
We are thrilled to have my younger brother, Michael Margott, as a silent partner in our venture with Tony’s team. Michael is also one of the founding members of The Neighbourhood band, with many years of experience in the music industry.
Moreover, the support that Tony Gemignani and the Slice House corporate team have provided has been unparalleled. They have been instrumental in ensuring a smooth and successful launch of our new franchise locations.
We have also hired an outstanding general manager and kitchen manager, who have many years of experience running similar operations, to help us achieve our goals. With our collective expertise and the support of Slice House’s exceptional team, we are excited about the future of our franchise.
WNLA: What are your hopes for the franchise?
VM: My hopes for the franchise are to establish a strong presence in the Southern California region and become the go-to destination for quality pizza.
To be Tony Gemignani’s first Southern California location is a dream come true and an honor to us. We aim to create a welcoming and friendly atmosphere in our Slice House locations, foster positive relationships with our customers, and build a reputation for excellence in the community.
Ultimately, I hope to expand the franchise in other areas and create a legacy that my family can be proud of for generations to come.