At the last National Restaurant Association show held annually at McCormick Place, Chicago, IL, Janet Arena was chatting with PMQ’s Steve Green, publisher for the print and online pizza industry magazine, when he happened to ask her if she was related to John Arena, co-founder and co-owner of a large pizzeria chain in Las Vegas, NV. Janet responded she didn’t think so.
After the show, with her curiosity piqued, Janet called John Arena. Their talk soon led to the discovery that their families were from the same town of Scilla in Calabria, Italy. John opined that because Scilla was a small town, it could very well be that they were related.
Soon after this initial phone conversation, Janet told John about a book, Elizabeth Street, written by a relative, Laurie Fabiano and listed on Oprah’s top summer books to read. John and his family read the well-received and positively-reviewed book, which details the Italian immigrant history and experience, including Janet’s and Laurie’s family’s ancestry, and it turns out, John’s family’s ancestry.
Shared name and ancestors aren’t the only things in common. Both John and Janet share the same entrepreneurial spirit. John started his Las Vegas, popular pizza chain that capitalizes on the diverse Las Vegas culture while Janet started Healing Skin to develop and create an innovative, patented burn treatment. More recently, John started a new artisanal bakery that uses traditional pizza making equipment to churn delectable baked goods and desserts, and Janet is working on a new concept for Burn Cream MD®.
In John’s own words, "Through my friend Steve Green and PMQ I was able to reconnect with a branch of my family that was separated over 100 years ago. It was amazing to see that the decades could not erode the underlying characteristics of our family. It's no coincidence that Janet and I are both entrepreneurs who are not afraid to trust in our work ethic and ambition to grow our small businesses. It was clear from our very first meeting that we share a passion for excellence. She expresses herself through the development and marketing of Burn Cream MD. My mode of expression came through developing Metro Pizza, but in truth our drive and single mindedness can be traced back to the tiny village of Scilla and a family that was brave enough to face great hardship and start a new life in America.”
“It’s just amazing to discover a new relative with the same entrepreneurial spirit, passion and drive. What are the chances? Our connecting is the very definition of serendipity!”
About Healing Skin, LLC
Healing Skin, LLC, a NYC-based, all-women owned and operated small business, is the creator of the patented, award-winning BURN CREAM MD®, a versatile, dermatologist formulated burn treatment recommended and used by celebrity chefs Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse and featured on numerous TV and media outlets. For more information, please visit burncreammd.com.
About Metro Pizza
Consistently named the “Best Pizza in Las Vegas” by numerous media outlets and reviewers for the past 15 consecutive years, Metro Pizza carries on the tradition started by the first great pizzerias founded more than a century ago, with the belief that a true pizzeria should be a gathering place for family and friends to relax, share great food and enjoy each other’s company. For more information, please visit metropizza.com.