It was business as usual last Saturday evening at JoDanni’s Amore for owners John and Dana Baggio, but the couple stepped away from their responsibilities for a few moments to the back of their restaurant for a private event to be awarded 2015 Business of the Year by the Coal Country Chamber of Commerce (CCCC).
John Baggio said the award came as a surprise and thanked the Chamber for honoring his family, which is how the word “JoDanni” was comprised. “Jo” in Jodanni stands for John, “Da” represents Dana, the first letter “N” represents Natalie and the remaining “Ni” stands for their youngest daughter, Nicole.
JoDanni’s has been in the community for over 30 years and is still going strong. Before the restaurant business, John sold insurance and Dana was in the home interior business. The couple always had a passion for cooking and, as CCCC Treasurer Mike Brill said, they would make pizza for supper.
When the couple opened their first restaurant business aside Randy’s Market in Benld, their menu was limited containing only pizza and a few sandwiches. Dine-in was also not available, only carry-out or delivery were options. The couple expanded their business a few years after by offering a dining room.
A little over 18 years ago, JoDanni’s expanded their business even more by entering the catering business and that business is still in operation today. Their latest expansion involved the purchase of a new location which happened only a few short years ago after JoDanni Enterprises purchased the old “Tug” location located at 2422 Staunton Road in Benld near D&A Corvette between Gillespie and Benld.
After a huge remodel and renovation, JoDanni’s used their newest location for events, holidays and receptions before moving their entire operation under the new roof n 2012 and rebranding their business as JoDanni’s Amore. The restaurant features an Italian and traditional cuisine. Their hours are 4-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 4-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, then 4-9 p.m. on Sunday.
Brill said the Baggio’s were one of the founding members of the Chamber and have been a member since 1999. He continued by saying JoDanni’s has donated pizza to the Chamber’s Fall Festival pizza eating contest for 12 years and donates to a number of CCCC events.
“The award is well overdue,” Brill closed.
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