BRINGING A TASTE OF ITALY TO DOWNTOWN DEPERE
WRITTEN BY: EMILY BEIER
Do you remember where you had a really amazing slice of pizza? For Andy Krans, it's in Italy. His wife Sophia is from Italy and they would bring their family to spend extended summers in the country to visit family and friends still living on the peninsula.
Unfortunately, when lockdowns began, Andy and Sophia found themselves unable to visit loved ones and enjoy the traditional Italian cuisine. The idea for Strada Pizzeria was then born. They may not be able to go to Italy, but they could bring a taste of Italy to Downtown De Pere to share with the community they now call home.
In November of 2020 at 109 North Broadway Street, Strada opened its doors in the former Bilotti's Pizza & Italian Garden, which closed its doors in 2017. Andy says this was the perfect spot to bring back a pizza shop. "We figured no one is thinking about opening a new business during this time, let alone a restaurant," said Andy Krans. "We knew the community needed some good news and so opening a new business we thought was just what the community needed,"
Strada has felt that community support since they opened. They sold out numerous times over the holidays and thanks to its popularity, the small business is looking to expand into other communities. "A lot of people were coming from Appleton to get our pizza so we're opening a Strada in the Fox Valley area and we're looking into expanding into Door County," said Krans.
Strada serves roman style pizza, which originated in Rome and is traditionally served in rectangular slices. Strada uses fresh, mostly local ingredients, such as BelGioioso cheese, to craft their pizzas. The flour comes from Italy and is really the showstopper of this delicious experience. After the dough is made, it ferments for 72 hours to create the perfect base, packed with flavor and highlights the other ingredients. This style of crust is light and airy, but thick, similar to focaccia.
Strada offers six core flavors of pizza but also brings in a specialty flavor about every two weeks. The recipes are created by culinary chefs, who were professionally trained by Italians at a school in Miami, Florida since they could not travel to Italy. The pizzas can be enjoyed right away, hot from the oven, or brought home to be cooked in your own oven thanks to the prebaked pizza crust. It takes less than five minutes to cook it fresh at home.
The atmosphere of the restaurant inside the historical building brings out its charm. It's the perfect spot to stop, slow down, enjoy your food and catch up with friends. It's truly an experience that is meant to be savored.
When asked if they would ever expand their menu with more flavors or other food items, Andy said they do pizza really well and that's what they want to share with the community. Pizza that is of the highest quality, authentic and sets them apart from any other pizza shops.
So when you're thinking about treating yourself or your family to a slice, Strada invites you to stop by their little piece of Italy in downtown De Pere.