Longtime restauranteurs Sandra Rodriguez and Alfredo Rodriguez (no relation) have opened up their latest restaurant on the Tamiami Trail in Port Charlotte.
Fredy Pizza debuted in October of 2018, and already has quite a following, which is not surprising to those who are familiar with the partners’ previous eateries.
Their partnership began in the mid-1990s in Philadelphia, when they began working for John Ganley, a businessman and restauranteur. After about three years, he offered the two of them an exciting opportunity.
“He asked if we would like to move to Florida and help him open a restaurant here,” Alfredo said. “So, we moved to Sarasota in January of 2000 and worked with him at his Cosimo’s restaurants for 12 years.”
That’s when the partners decided that they wanted to try and branch out on their own. They found a small storefront in Sarasota that had been a German bakery, and began to renovate and acquire the necessary equipment for their Italian restaurant.
But the location wasn’t really advantageous for them and within the year, they had gone back to working for Cosimo’s. Last year, though, the partners were presented with another opportunity.
“Someone had mentioned to Alfredo that they heard this place was going to be coming up for rent,” Sandra said. “So, we decided to give it a try. We had kept everything that we had purchased from our first pizza place, and we just bought the big walk-in cooler from the person who owned this one.”
The space, previously occupied by Uncle Nick’s Pizza, doesn’t have a dine-in option, but offers take-out and delivery for orders over $25.
The Fredy menu includes hot sandwiches, like Philly cheese steaks and meatball, chicken and eggplant parm, as well as deli cold cut sandwiches and salads. But the most requested dishes on the menu are the pizzas, which Alfredo said taste like no other.
“This is the best pizza around, that’s what people say,” he said. “I make a thin, crispy crust, but it’s soft on the inside and tasty. It’s taken me 27 years to perfect my recipe.”
Alfredo also makes his own meatballs, grates his cheeses and uses only the freshest ingredients. Sandra said that he keeps his sauce-making method such a secret that even after working with him all these years, even she doesn’t know the recipe.
One thing’s for certain, both Sandra and Alfredo are happy to be operating their business in Port Charlotte. They both say the community support has been fantastic, and people who have found them can’t believe that there’s not a line out the door when they arrive. But as of right now, Fredy Pizza is still an undiscovered treasure for many.
Alfredo said he’s offering some incentives for new visitors to come give their new place a try.
“Almost very week, I’m running specials on wings and pizzas,” he said. “I just love what I’m doing here.”
Fredy Pizza is located at 3880 Tamiami Trail, in Port Charlotte. Its open for take-out and delivery Monday through Thursday, from noon to 9 p.m., Friday, from noon to 10 p.m., Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. To find out more or to place an order, call 941-875-9582 or 941-875-9583.