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NJ pizza joint gets TikTok fame thanks to owner’s saucy son

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He’s the Tok of New Jersey.

Day-after-day, 25-year previous Salvatore Mandreucci toils behind the counter at Marcello’s Pizza-Grill, a 20-year-old establishment outdoors Trenton.

However on TikTok and Instagram, Mandreucci is best often called SallySlices, the place his 4 million mixed social followers might make him probably the most well-known pizzaiolo in the USA. 

His content material is concurrently inscrutable and heartfelt. Mandreucci leans his telephone in opposition to the kitchen wall, recording his day by day shifts. A wistful Spanish hymn performs within the background as a brief, melancholy caption flares throughout the display screen. “Be particular person, however don’t waste your time to show it,” reads one. He has lots of of movies similar to this — Italian cooking and existential bons mots. Mandreucci’s TikTok bio reads “CEO of Inspiration,” and over the previous 12 months, that function has reworked him right into a celebrity.

Salvatore Mandreucci, 25, is known as SallySlices on TikTok and Instagram, where his four million combined social followers.
Salvatore Mandreucci, 25, is named SallySlices on TikTok and Instagram, the place his 4 million mixed social followers.

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Mandreucci’s a humble cook at Marcello’s Pizza Grill, and he toils behind the oven every day at the 20-year institution nestled in Trenton, New Jersey.
Mandreucci works at Marcello’s Pizza Grill.
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“[When I started TikTok] I mentioned to my dad, ‘Look, I’ve acquired 6,000 followers.’ You realize what he mentioned to me? ‘That is bulls–t.’ However the subsequent week I had 20,000, and I noticed his demeanor change. And as soon as I hit 50,000, he began to know the worth of social media,” mentioned Mandreucci instructed The Submit in his Pesci-esque Jersey accent.

“My dad’s been my largest supporter. Day-after-day now we have folks stopping in from totally different states,” he continued, noting that his TikTok fame has been nice for Marcello’s, situated in a strip mall in Hamilton Sq.. “California, Texas, Florida. They’re doing one thing else within the space and cease by.”

The restaurant will get 25 calls a day from followers trying to converse with him, forcing Mandreucci to keep away from the telephone altogether. So, how did the man behind the oven of a household pizza joint — Mandreucci’s father is a first-generation Sicilian immigrant — come to share illustration with Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk and UFC light-weight Charles Oliveira?

Salvatore Mandreucci, a customer and Mandreucci's father
“My dad’s been my largest supporter. On a regular basis now we have folks stopping in from totally different states,” he instructed The Submit. Above, Mandreucci, a buyer and Mandreucci’s father.
Instagram: @sallyslices_
A general view of Marchello’s Pizza-Grill in Hamilton Square on Wednesday June 29, 2022 in Trenton, New Jersey.
Marchello’s Pizza-Grill is a 20-year-old establishment outdoors Trenton.
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It definitely helps that Mandreucci is each tall and cute. He brings to thoughts a bright-eyed Ray Liotta firstly of “Goodfellas,” or a youthful, kinder Nicolas Cage. Mandreucci’s triceps flex as he kilos dough and drizzles olive oil, a truth that’s acknowledged by the various thirsty commenters on his uploads — “Sauce up my pizza anytime,” reads one.

However different followers appear to be genuinely moved by his wistful inscriptions that drift throughout the pepperoni pies — a content material technique that Mandreucci describes as combining “genuine pizza restaurant” work and “inspiration.” He’s been working deliveries and washing dishes because the age of 16, and his dad instilled in him the hardscrabble classes of the previous nation.

“I’ve at all times handled psychological conflict. I felt disregarded as a child. And because the years progressed I acquired extra smart,” mentioned Mandreucci, explaining the hook of his movies. “I discovered a lot s–t from what I skilled as a child. What if different folks need to hear it?”

Mandreucci’s TikTok bio reads “CEO of Inspiration.”
Mandreucci’s TikTok bio reads “CEO of Inspiration.”
sallyslices/TikTok

Whereas he considers himself a pizza-maker first, Mandreucci is already increasing his footprint past Marcello’s. He’s promoting merchandise branded with the SallySlices logo on his website, and has an acoustic ballad on Spotify referred to as “A Man’s Thoughts.” (It has about 60,000 performs.)

Ultimately, he hopes to parlay his TikTok success into a movie profession. And whereas that may definitely take him distant from the household enterprise, it’s a dream his dad and mom assist.

“My dad and mom are all in. They need me to do what I really like,” mentioned Mandreucci. “My dad needs me out of the pizzeria, really. He tells me he doesn’t need me to interrupt my ass like he did for the final 50 years.”