Victoria Tiso is carrying forward her family’s legacy in the Bronx pizzeria business her father has been running for the past four decades. In her role as Manager at Louie and Ernie’s Pizza, she’s bringing a fresh style of management to the eatery and to sharing her family’s beloved recipes with customers in a contemporary way.
“Being the only female pizza maker in the Bronx is awesome,” Victoria says. “What I enjoy most about the job is that everyone leaves with a smile and a full stomach. Plus, it’s always amazing to see families grow and how eating pizza here [is a tradition that] has been passed down through generations.” As a female in a male-dominated industry, Victoria takes great pride in representing her family and in moving their business into the future.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in sports management with a minor in marketing at St. Thomas Aquinas College, Victoria followed her lifelong passion for sports through her early career. Her expertise both on the softball field and in the pizza business originated in her childhood, when she played in local leagues and worked in her family’s pizzeria on her days off. Her knowledge and skills in the sports arena earned her several coaching positions across New York City and Westchester, and she was the assistant to the athletic director and assistant softball coach for Westchester Community College where she oversaw the players, budget, and ultimately organized the college’s first-ever fall season. She also lent her skills to the Bronx’s Diamond Dolls Tournament Team, a local junior league. In 2018, she landed a position as assistant to the associate athletic director for administration and finance and head softball coach for Baruch College, and one year later, she began reflecting on her professional career.
Ultimately, she was drawn back to the family business and ever since, she has been bringing a fresh perspective and unique management skills to take the business to new heights. Using her past work experience and skills she acquired in college, Victoria opened an e-commerce website and collaborated with popular brands, bringing Louie and Ernie’s name nationwide. Among her many accomplishments are the custom-designed sneaker with the footwear brand Fila that Victoria designed, along with the pizza-themed Jibbitz, the official charms for Croc shoes. American Express recently profiled her and Louie and Ernie’s to highlight successful small businesses.
Victoria credits her parents for giving her the confidence and support to make the career change.
“My mom was my backbone throughout the whole process and my dad was the best motivator and critic,” she says. “There’s no one better to learn from. I was able to take everything I learned from my degree and years with the college and teams and transform it into how I work here.”
In addition to contributing savvy business skills to the establishment, Victoria’s responsibilities are very hands-on day to day. She checks inventory and preps food, making calzones, dough, and pizza—a skill that she’s honed over time.
“Although I might not be in sports management anymore, I still feel that my education and experience have prepared me to be successful in all aspects of life,” she says.
As a student at STAC, Victoria played with the Lady Spartan softball team as a utility player, covering the field as a catcher, left fielder, and third baseman. While working toward her undergraduate degree, she fulfilled her duties as class president and completed an internship as the sports director for Skyhawk’s Camp. She coached multiple sports for children and teens, managed the camp, and supervised several employees.
In the future, Victoria will continue her career in the pizza-making business, but plans to forge her own path. She hopes to open her own establishment named Tiso’s. She also looks forward to starting her own consulting business, Slice of Life, and helping entrepreneurs open their own brick-and-mortar pizzerias. The consultancy will also help current professionals in the business learn new marketing strategies, and find vendors, recipes, and blogs to grow their pizzerias around the globe.