By Alesia Mayfield, Eastside News
As a boy growing up in Palermo, Sicily, Alessandro Monachello made pizzas in the wood-fired oven at the family’s country home. When he came to Madison in 2006, he didn’t speak English, but he was able to find employment as a cook. Over the years, Monachello worked at Osteria Papavero, Madison Club and Magnus. As he learned English, saying “It’s good for you” sounded good to him. As his English improved, “It’s good for you” stayed with friends as a joke. And it’s also part of the name of his Madison pizzeria.
It’s Good For You Pizza opened in February 2023, and Monachello operates it with his business partner Christopher Guglielmo. Located at 521 N. Sherman Ave., the pizzeria is modeled after the pizzerias Monachello frequented in Sicily. There are six pizzas on the regular menu. The menu is small by design. That way the pizzeria can focus on quality, Monachello said.
Like the pizzas he made as a boy, the ones at It’s Good For You Pizza are made in a wood-fired oven where the oven has to be heated 2-3 hours ahead of time. The pizzas bake at a temperature between 900-1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Though the pizzas can be made in a gas oven, Monachello considers that “cheating.”
The style of pizza at It’s Good For You Pizza is Neapolitan, which gets a chewy, bubbly crust from the wood-fire oven. The Margherita, a vegetarian pizza made with basil oil (a combination of basil and olive oil) and di latte mozzarella (made with cow’s milk), is the top seller. Using the six pizzas on the regular menu for inspiration, customers can build their own pizza.
Before Monachello and Guglielmo had their storefront pizzeria, they started their pizza business in 2016 by catering and selling at the Northside Farmers’ Market and at public and private events. Because the business was mobile, it operated from May to October.
Having a stable, physical location allowed for expansion so the partners could operate throughout the year as a takeout with limited dining. There are plans to have patio dining in the summer. The catering continues through the mobile business.
Due to their success at the Northside Farmers’ Market, Monachello and Guglielmo thought it was a natural fit to be on the north side.
“(We are) excited to be part of the process to improve (the business community of the north side),” said Monachello.
It’s Good For You Pizza boasts a loyal following, and Monachello’s three keys to creating a successful business are: good counter service, having a small crew and taking care of the customers.
It’s Good For You Pizza is open Thursdays through Saturdays from 5-8:30 p.m. and accepts orders through Door Dash.
For more information or to view the menu, visit itsgoodforyoumadison.com.
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