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

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

He’s the Tok of New Jersey.

Every day, 25-year-old Salvatore Mandreucci toils behind the counter at Marcello’s Pizza-Grill, a 20-year-old institution outside Trenton.

But on TikTok and Instagram, Mandreucci is better known as SallySlices, where his 4 million combined social followers may make him the most famous pizzaiolo in the United States.

His content is simultaneously inscrutable and heartfelt. Mandreucci leans his phone against the kitchen wall, recording his daily shifts. A wistful Spanish hymn plays in the background as a short, melancholy caption flares across the screen. “Be a good person, but don’t waste your time to prove it,” reads one. He has hundreds of videos just like this — Italian cooking and existential bons mots. Mandreucci’s TikTok bio reads “CEO of Inspiration,” and over the past year, that role has transformed him into a superstar.

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

Stefan Jeremiah for New York Post
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.
Stefan Jeremiah for New York Post

“[When I started TikTok] I said to my dad, ‘Look, I’ve got 6,000 followers.’ You know what he said to me? ‘This is bulls–t.’ But the next week I had 20,000, and I saw his demeanor change. And once I hit 50,000, he started to understand the value of social media,” said Mandreucci told The Post in his Pesci-esque Jersey accent.

“My dad’s been my biggest supporter. Every day we have people stopping in from different states,” he continued, noting that his TikTok fame has been great for Marcello’s, located in a strip mall in Hamilton Square. California, Texas, Florida. They’re doing something else in the area and stop by.”

The restaurant gets 25 calls a day from fans looking to speak with him, forcing Mandreucci to avoid the phone altogether. So, how did the guy behind the oven of a family pizza joint — Mandreucci’s father is a first-generation Sicilian immigrant — come to share representation with Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk and UFC lightweight Charles Oliveira?

Salvatore Mandreucci, a customer and Mandreucci's father
“My dad’s been my biggest supporter. Everyday we have people stopping in from different states,” he told The Post. Above, Mandreucci, a customer 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 institution outside Trenton.
Stefan Jeremiah for New York Post

It certainly helps that Mandreucci is both tall and cute. He brings to mind a bright-eyed Ray Liotta at the beginning of “Goodfellas,” or a younger, kinder Nicolas Cage. Mandreucci’s triceps flex as he pounds dough and drizzles olive oil, a fact that is recognized by the many thirsty commenters on his uploads — “Sauce up my pizza anytime,” reads one.

But other fans seem to be genuinely moved by his wistful inscriptions that drift across the pepperoni pies — a content strategy that Mandreucci describes as combining “authentic pizza restaurant” work and “inspiration.” He’s been running deliveries and washing dishes since the age of 16, and his dad instilled in him the hardscabble lessons from the old country.

“I’ve always dealt with mental war. I felt left out as a kid. And as the years progressed I got more wise,” said Mandreucci, explaining the hook of his videos. “I learned so much s–t from what I experienced as a kid. What if other people want to hear it?”

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

While he considers himself a first pizza-maker, Mandreucci is already expanding his footprint beyond Marcello’s. He’s selling merchandise branded with the SallySlices logo on his website, and has an acoustic ballad on Spotify called “A Man’s Mind.” (It has about 60,000 plays.)

Eventually, he hopes to parlay his TikTok success into a film career. And while that will certainly take him far away from the family business, it’s a dream of his parents support.

“My parents are all in. They want me to do what I love,” said Mandreucci. “My dad wants me out of the pizzeria, actually. He tells me he doesn’t want me to break my ass like he did for the last 50 years.”

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