Stone Fire Pizza by Midici is not your average pizza place with specialty pizzas like the fig, the pig, and the goat, a variety of toppings, crusts and other options where there is something for everyone at the cushy restaurant at the Vintage Faire Mall.
Their motto is “People are the best thing that can happen to anyone” and the family owned franchise has accepted that business culture of making Guest Friends and Team Friends.
The Walvesco Corporation is a family business that are new franchisees and new to the restaurant industry. The corporation consists of parents Donna and Stephen Walling, and sons, John, David, and Michael that started this new business venture a few years ago. After looking at several different business models the Midici pizza franchise seemed to fit what they were looking to bring to the area.
Owner Operator John explained that they get support from headquarters, for example they brought in a chef from Italy.
“They have been really good working with us,” he said. “They are an emerging brand. It has been an interesting ride. We are glad to have the support at the end of the day and they still allow us to operate independently at the same time.”
Several things have changed over the past few years with a name change and COVID. They originally started out as the Neapolitan Pizza Company by Midici and have rebranded to Stone Fire Pizza by Midici and went from mainly dine-in customers to now a larger takeout business.
“Fortunately we are pizza so it was easy to switch to ‘to-go’ orders,” stated John. “We were kind of already in the right position. We are already in the food industry so we have to be sanitary. The mask was the only new addition. We take all the precautions to keep everyone safe and healthy. We are just kind of riding through it.”
John explained that their pizza is unique for a few different reasons including the Neapolitan Pizza that was originally created in Naples, Italy hundreds of years ago that is made with simple and fine ingredients with ovalini mozzarella. There are many offerings on the menu that are made in house like the dough, meatballs with Angus beef and the sauces. Accommodating people with food restrictions guests can get a gluten free crust or a cauliflower crust and they have vegan options at Stone Fire Pizza.
Walking into the restaurant with the curves, décor, gold pizza oven, and tree it gives this pizza place a very contemporary and enticing vibe. The atmosphere was designed to resemble Naples, Italy according to John bringing the Modesto community a little piece of Italy.
They have an Artisan Pizza that guests can customize with the six different sauces and a variety of toppings like a cracked egg, vegan sausage, goat cheese, grape tomatoes, arugula, Kalamata olives and artichokes to name a few.
The BBQ Chicken, the Double Pepperoni, Chicken Alfredo are a few of the pizzas that are guest favorites. They have a house salad, Caesar salad, and the Italian with seasonal greens.
Pizza is not the only thing on the menu as they have calzones, pasta, Paninis, and dessert. Their signature dessert is the Nutella Calzone that has Nutella, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and powdered sugar.
“It is a special dessert that everybody really likes,” added John. “It (the fig, the pig, and the goat) is a special tasting pizza for sure and it is a guest favorite. People really love our cauliflower crust.
They offer an exclusive pizza of the month, which is when they introduced the fig, the pig, and the goat that gained so much popularity that they will be adding it to the regular menu. It is a fig or jam based pizza with goat cheese, parmesan and prosciutto.
“Our goal is to make everyone have a great experience and kind of make ourselves different than everybody else and we have great pizza,” remarked John. “We have regulars that we have built over time. Some of my favorite moments here are really meeting a lot of the local people and really people from all over the place.”
Stone Fire Pizza has a Happy Hour from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday where any beer or wine is $5 as well as their meatballs and Nutella Calzone. They have a few beers on tap and have some local offerings like Blaker Brewing’s Honey Babies Blonde Ale and Plowed Under IPA and a few wines. They have lunch specials and different promotions that can be found on their website or social media sites.
“We are thankful for the support that we got from the mall and from our regular followers and community,” noted John about surviving through COVID. “It has worked out really well. It has been a good positive turnaround and we have been pretty fortunate so we can only go up from here.”