Sicilian Matriarch Anita Bonafede was the Madonna of Quality Control at the family owned restaurants with the finest and freshest ingredients. From when Anita Bonafede and her husband, Joe, opened the...ir first Italian restaurant in Torrance in 1968, she would put their youngest child, Joe Jr., down to nap on flour sacks piled in the back storeroom. From day one, the restaurant was a family affair. Thirty-two years later, JoJo's is a thriving family run chain where old classics are constantly being reinvented in ways that are refreshingly new without being nouvelle trendy.
The toddler who once napped on flour sacks is now the managerial driving force behind JoJo's Pizza Kitchen, but Anita will always remain the power behind the throne. She was a stickler for using only the finest and freshest ingredients, from the Stanislaus County plum tomatoes, harvested at their prime, to the flavorful Italian "Basilico," picked fresh daily and the quality bricks of cheese grated beneath her watchful eye. ("I wouldn't touch the pre-grated stuff,' she would say." You never know what's in it.)
This was the secret of her success, and continues to be the secret of JoJo's success. Classic comfort food, Italian style, prepared fresh daily of the finest ingredients, and presented at a reasonable price. In fact, Anita made her sauce just as her mother Guiseppina did 80 years ago in her native Camporeale, Sicily.
Petite but tough, Anita would oversee quality control in the kitchens, if not with an iron fist, then with velvet covered one. Her nose was sharp as a sommelier's, she supervised the preparation of her renowned sauce, which was and continues to be made from scratch daily. One sniff used to tell her when a pizza in the brick-lined oven was cooked to perfection, and woe be the poor chef that JoJo's employs who could not do the same.
Today, Anita's family would described her as a traditionalist, a description that encompasses everything from the way she raised their three children to the weekly Sunday dinner at home for which she lovingly prepared the same sauce that diners enjoy in the family restaurants. At the Sunday meal, a sacred ritual, Anita and Joe were always joined by family and friends who would sit around the same elegant polished table that graced her parents dining room in Queens, New York, where Anita grew up. Currently, Anita's family carries on the same traditions and values that make JoJo's the best family restaurant around. We hope your family joins our family for a great dinning experience.