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October 26, 2023
Joe’s Pizza -- Nittany Lions In NEPA

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A Legendary Little Pizza Shop in Nanticoke

Photo courtesy of Brady Sholtis.


A little over a year ago one of my closest friends first told me about Joe.

My friend spoke of him as if he was a NEPA legend. He told the story of how Joe has worked in the pizza shop he now owns for almost 60 years. Joe was the only one who worked there. And, although your orders take longer than at other places, it’s well worth the wait for the quality of food you receive.

Naturally, I was intrigued. And eventually, I just had to see for myself if this legend was, in fact, true. It was. And in the relatively brief time I have known Joe and enjoyed his food, his shop has become my favorite in all of NEPA. He has also become a genuine inspiration and role model to me.

So now, I believe it is only fitting that I continue to spread the legend of Joe’s Pizza. And I’ll tell it just as it was told to me by both my friend and Joe himself.



Photo courtesy of Brady Sholtis.


The story begins in 1945 when the Stuccio family opened a pizza shop at 5 West Church St, Nanticoke. Almost 20 years later, in 1963, a local boy named Joe Hynoski started working there. Joe began his career as a “curb boy” at another local pizza shop when he was seven and a half years old. He would watch the chefs as they made the pizzas, learning as much as he could from what he was seeing. He applied his knowledge at the age of eight when he made his first pizza on his mother’s kitchen stove. Later that year, the self-taught eight-year-old got a promotion. After convincing his boss that he could handle it, Joe began helping in the kitchen.

Fast forward about ten years. Joe began working for Stuccio’s Pizza. And he would remain there for the next 60 years with just one major change along the way. On December 22, 2008, Stuccio’s became Joe’s Pizza and the now-seasoned pizza maker has never looked back.


Photo courtesy of Brady Sholtis.


Still to this day, he runs the shop all by himself. Since that fateful day in 2008 Joe’s original style of making pizza, subs, and strombolis the way he would like to eat them has been celebrated for their supreme quality. Some of Joe’s many career highlights include being one of the first pizza shops to make heart-shaped pizza on Valentine’s Day. In 2015, Joe’s won the famous NEPA Pizza Madness Tournament. Joe’s is also a favorite among many major offices in Washington D.C. And, a moment of which Joe is most proud — successfully completing his largest order. It came from The State Correctional Institute in Dallas. They asked him to make and deliver 693 small pies. Joe accepted the challenge. And, after 27 and a half hours of pizza making, Joe loaded the order into a U-Haul truck and successfully delivered it on time. He learned later that the warden had repeatedly asked the inmates if there were any complaints. Nobody had a bad word to say about Joe’s work.


Photo courtesy of Brady Sholtis.


Joe’s Pizza is a rare gem, nestled inconspicuously in Nanticoke PA. It is one of, if not the best, pizza places in all of Pennsylvania (potentially even the entire world). If anyone doubts any of these stories, accomplishments, or testaments – if you doubt the legend of Joe’s Pizza, then Joe and I both invite you to stop by the shop and let the food speak for itself.