It was 1979 and my Dad, a high school teacher and the head football for the Chicago City Champs, decided to make a major career change. He moved us from Illinois to California to open and operate a Barro’s Pizza in Montebello. His cousin John Barro, along with his brother, Angelo, were the owners of the Barro’s franchise and had been encouraging my Dad to open up his own franchise. I even starred in a 30 second Barro’s commercial that was aired before all the Dodger’s games back in 1982.
By 1992, most of the Barro’s franchises had moved to Arizona, but my family had built very strong ties with the community of Montebello, so my Dad decided to take down the name Barro and put up our family name, Rio. And we have been known as Rio’s Pizza ever since.
Being able to bring Rio’s Pizza to the City of South El Monte could not be a better fit or a more perfect time. I am excited to have my daughter Paloma as my partner, and together we will bring the community of South El Monte our signature pizza that is made fresh everyday using a secret dough mix recipe that is a combination of specific ingredients that was once assembled by my grandparents on their dining room table. Our pizza cheese is a high-quality mozzarella blend and of course being 100% Italian, we only use fresh Italian sausage.
Our vision for Rio’s Pizza South El Monte is to provide a place where just for a moment you can forget about everything else, enjoy delicious food, have a few laughs, relax, and celebrate life.