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Inspiring Conversations with Juniet and Mert Ozturk of Angeli’s Pizzeria

Today we’d like to introduce you to Juniet and Mert Ozturk.

Hi Juniet and Mert, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
Here at Angeli’s and the previous restaurants that we’ve operated, our first and most important goal is to make sure every customer has the best experience ever with us.

Me, Juniet Ozturk, my brother Mert Ozturk, and our business partner Cem Ari bring together our varied and unique experiences within the Pizzeria and Bar industry. With over 15 years of experience creating successful pizzeria businesses in Virginia, NYC, and Baltimore, it’s hard to believe we are all still very young.

As Turks, we have always admired our Italian neighbors. That’s why when we decided to start Angeli’s, we knew it should be in Little Italy. Here, we have fantastic support from the community, amazing neighbors, and a tremendous Landlord who helps us in every way. When Angeli’s started operating, it was with two people – my brother and me. Here at Angeli’s, our delicious pizza is made with love, and we specialize in our homemade sangria. Now that the economy is opening back up, our 18-person team has been hard at work making hundreds of pizzas every day.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
When the pandemic hit, we knew we had to step up and do something for the community. So we decided to donate 10,000 pizzas to the health care workers in the DMV region. So, every day from 2 to 6 am and around 1 pm, we were driving around donating pizzas to different hospitals and health centers. Once we hit 2,000 pizzas donated, we began to get phone calls from TV and radio stations to do interviews with us and help us reach our goal! With their help and the help of our loyal customers and registered sponsors, we reached our goal in six months! We made many great friends during this time.

The day we learned that DPW stopped recycling pickup for a month, we knew we could help our community in a small way by recycling their glass bottles. For each bottle brought in, we offered a $1 discount. So, if someone brought in 16 bottles, they would receive a free pizza. Then, on New Year’s Eve, we collected unused pumpkins from the surrounding communities, trading the gourd for a $15 Angeli’s gift card. Finally, we brought the collected pumpkins to local farms to help feed the animals, saving farmers the money they would have otherwise spent on feed. In the end, we were awarded “Best Pizzeria” many times by many different magazines and organizations.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Angeli’s Pizzeria?
We are known for our involvement in the community and we appreciate all of their support and love. We truly couldn’t be the success that we are without all of our friends and neighbors here in Little Italy. Our delicious hand-tossed pizza is made with love, and we specialize in our homemade sangria.

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
Here at Angeli’s, our delicious pizza is made with love, and we specialize in our homemade sangria. Now that the economy is opening back up, our 18-person team has been hard at work making hundreds of pizzas every day.

Our dream is to turn Angeli’s into a franchise. So we are looking for people who would like to partner with us to make this dream a reality. If anyone would be interested in opening up more Angeli’s with us, please get in touch with us at angelisonhigh@gmail.com

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