Karen Misuraca likes to say that she has five children, and her first was Capri Pizza & Sub Express, the Glen Burnie restaurant she and Sicilian-born husband Guiseppe “Joe” Misuraca opened in 1990. The Severna Park residents celebrated the milestone on November 19 during a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Northern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce.
“I feel so humbled to grow up with the community, not only to serve and make them food and do what we love to do, but it’s like our whole community is our family,” Karen said. “People came in when they were young, and now they’re parents or grandparents, and they look at our pictures. It’s like a Cheers kind of place. It’s just feels comfortable here, you feel like home, and I’m really proud of the place.”
When Karen and Joe migrated from Queens, New York, to Maryland, they were engaged but without children. Starting a business was hard work then and it is hard work now, Karen said.
“Back in the day, we were here around the clock,” Karen recalled. “I was making a cheesesteak while I was in labor with Rosalia, so I actually had to be like, ‘Hon, I have to get to the hospital now. I have to drop this cheesesteak.’ So that was a funny story, but now we have it down to a science. Our staff is great, and the children are always helping when we need them. Our daughter, Regina, runs the place with us, and she has been wonderful.”
Karen and Joe hope that Regina will take over the business when they eventually step away, although she has several other interests. In the immediate future, they look forward to celebrating another milestone in June: the birth of their grandchild, courtesy of their son, Sal, and his wife, Maddy.
As Karen, Joe and their children — Rosalia, Regina, Sal and Katie — joked with longtime customers and friends on November 19, the attendees praised the family for their remarkable service. Councilman Andrew Pruski shared that the family delivered food to his home when he got COVID-19 earlier this year.
Asked about the secret recipe to success, Karen said, “You have to be here all the time and watch your product and make sure it’s consistent. You can’t just come in and smile and leave for a couple of days. There’s been a lot of blood, sweat and tears but also a lot of love.”
Photos by Zach Sparks
Karen and Guiseppe “Joe” Misuraca, along with their four children, celebrated Capri Pizza’s 30th anniversary on November 19 by giving free food to customers.