LABELLE — COVID-19 may have forced the cancellation of the LaBelle Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Banquet, but it didn’t stop chamber members from showing their appreciation for this year’s Business of the Year. This year’s honoree is LaBelle’s local, beloved, longtime business Sal-Cal’s Pizza.
Sometime during the late 1970s, Salvatore Calabraze founded Sal-Cal’s Pizza at 159 Bridge St., LaBelle. Salvatore, who was already retired, unfortunately couldn’t stand the heat, so he decided to “get out of the kitchen.” He sold Sal-Cal’s to Phyllis Miller, who only ran it for a short period of time. The business changed hands again in the early 1980s, but the name, Sal-Cal’s Pizza, remained. This time the new owner was Salvatore Pellegrino, who moved the business to its current location, 732 S. Main St., where it remains to this day.
In 1985 Sal married Gail Waters, but by the year 2000 Gail was running the business by herself. Although very busy with the business, Gail still found time to be a choir member at her church.
She became friends with a fellow choir member, and in 2006 Gail married that fellow choir member, Jessie Cuello. Jessie and Gail worked side by side successfully running Sal-Cal’s Pizza until they sold it in 2012 to Danny and Kathy Shoaf. As the new owners, Danny, Kathy and their daughter Carla decided to keep the historic name, Sal-Cal’s Pizza.
Pizza has always been the “heart” of the business, and Danny, Kathy and Carla have dedicated themselves to maintaining this established business model, and have shown great respect for its history. The popularity and success of Sal-Cal’s Pizza is directly the result of their hard work, dedication and love they feel for their community and the people they serve.
Sal-Cal’s Pizza, under the watchful eyes of Danny, Kathy and Carla, is an established part of LaBelle. They show their appreciation to the community by supporting many of LaBelle’s youth programs, as well as supporting many events. They have lost count of the many, many high school students who have worked there, and have been part of their “Sal-Cal’s Pizza family.” They are humbled and thrilled that so many of these young people have remained in contact with them over the years, sharing stories of their new careers and families.
That’s the kind of place that Sal-Cal’s is, the true embodiment of LaBelle. That is why it is with great pleasure that we, the LaBelle Chamber of Commerce, present the 2020 Business of the Year Award to Sal-Cal’s Pizza.