THE STORY OF ME-N-ED’S PIZZERIA
Birthday number 50 is the BIG ONE, just ask any baby boomer. Turning 50 makes one look back with nostalgia towards the past and some trepidation about what lies in the future. A day where your friends make fun of you for turning “old” but yet look back with pride upon all your accomplishments. A day that you celebrate with family and friends because that is what is so important and has carried you thus far. And so it is for one of the oldest pizza chains in the Central California – Me-n-Ed’s Pizzerias, which marked its 50th anniversary in 2008.
And so the answer to the question that is always asked, “Who is Me and who is Ed?”
The original Me-n-Ed’s was opened in Sacramento, California in 1958 and was founded by Russ Johnson (Shakey Johnson’s brother of Shakey’s Pizzeria) and Ed Sandlin, hence the name Me (“Russ”) and Ed. Russ and Ed were selling franchises throughout California, as well as owning and operating their own restaurants in and around the San Francisco Bay Area.
In 1960, Me-n-Ed’s was selling pizzas from a location on Belmont in the Sunnyside district of Fresno, California, as well as from locations in Hanford and in Orange County California. From the original three locations Me-n-Ed’s slowly grew to over twenty restaurants by the mid 1980’s. Milano Restaurants International, headquartered in Fresno and still family operated, runs the Company to this day, and now owns, operates and franchises over 50 restaurants located primarily in Central California, including Me-n-Ed’s Coney Island Grill, Me-n-Ed’s Victory Grill and Slices California Pizza Bar. Milano also owns and operates Piazza del Pane Italian Café
But the true success of Me-n-Ed’s lies with its people - the people who work so passionately at making the best pizzas around and the guests who so passionately supported their efforts. And with our dough and sauces made daily in each of our kitchens, combined with 5 types of whole milk cheeses, the freshest vegetables and the choicest meats, and baked to perfection in our fire-brick ovens, it is no wonder that Me-n-Ed’s is the Central San Joaquin Valley’s favorite pizza.
Recognizing early the importance of giving back to the community that had made them successful, Me-n-Ed’s has led the industry in supporting so many causes – from youth sports teams, community churches and hospitals, schools and colleges. With this kind of commitment to the community and to the industry, the Company and its people have been the recipients of many honors, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Restaurant Association, Community Service Awards, and Local and National “Best Pizza” awards, along with the respect and admiration of so many family, friends and loyal patrons.
It is in these footsteps - this foundation that has been laid over the last 50 years - that Me-n-Ed’s Pizzerias moves into the future. Becoming a multi-concept operator in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, Milano Restaurants has positioned itself to leverage off of its great brands with a team of the best restaurateurs in the industry focused with a passion on serving our guests and communities.