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A Slice of History - Pizza in America

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Date: June 12, 2019
Contact: Jerry Willis, (646) 356-2105

One of America’s Favorite Foods Showcased in Ellis Island Exhibit

Ellis Island, NY/NJ  – The National Park Service and Evelyn Hill Inc., the food service concessionaire at the Statue of Liberty since 1931 and Ellis Island since 2009, have cooked up a way to celebrate Pizza. We’ve invited five purveyors of one of America’s favorite foods to share their crusty craftsmanship and their founder's immigration stories with a temporary exhibit in the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration.
Pizza is personal. Have you ever asked a New Yorker where to get the best pizza? You could be in for a long conversation. There’s the thickness and crispiness of the crust, the ratio of sauce to cheese, and then there are toppings. The origins of pizza, as we know it today, can be traced back to 17th century Naples, and it was brought to America by Italian immigrants in the late 19th century. From New York to Chicago to California, Americans consume more than 3 billion pizzas a year.

The five pizza establishments represented in the exhibit were out in front of the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration today, giving away their pizza to visitors arriving by ferry.
Pizza Purveyors:      
Johnny’s of Mt. Vernon, NY

Kesté of Bleecker St., NYC
Nellie’s Place of Waldwick, NJ
NY Pizza Suprema of 8th Ave., NYC
Posa Posa of Nanuet, NY 

“Food is a tangible and fun way to connect our visitors to the story of immigration,” said the Superintendent of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island, John Piltzecker. “And who doesn’t love pizza? The stories of the families that run the pizzerias represented in this exhibit will connect our visitors to immigration history and bring it alive.”

“This is our third year of doing a food exhibit tied to family immigration stories,” said Bob Uffer, Chief Operating Officer of Evelyn Hill Inc. “I love how people’s faces light up as they come off the ferries and are surprised to be offered a slice of pizza. We’ve placed the exhibit at the entrance to our café so our visitors get a slice of history and enjoy one of the world’s favorite foods. That’s a win-win.”


About the National Park Service  More than 20,000 National Park Service employees who care for America’s 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.

About Evelyn Hill Inc.
Named after a Polish woman who immigrated to the USA in 1916 is a third generation family business. Since 1931, we have been providing visitor services at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island including running the café’s, gift shops & organizing special events. Evelyn Hill is recognized as a leader within the National Park Service for their recycling efforts which include diverting over 96% of the solid waste from landfills as well as their Gift Pavilion being LEED Platinum certified.

About Ellis Island
Opened on January 1, 1892, Ellis Island became the nation's premier federal immigration station. In operation until 1954, more than 12 million immigrants were processed at the station. It has been estimated that more than 40 percent of America’s population today can trace their ancestry through Ellis Island. After 30 years of abandonment, the main building was restored by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation and, working in partnership with the National Park Service, opened as a museum in September 1990.


Last updated: June 12, 2019

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Ellis Island Receiving Center
Statue of Liberty National Monument

Jersey City , NJ 07305


212 363-3200

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