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Friday, July 12, 2024

Community Member Making A Difference

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Anthony Miller is certainly no stranger to hard work. The twenty-one-year-old Mastic Beach native has been working since he was in elementary school. Anthony began working with his dad’s drywall and spackling business and is now the proud owner of his own business, a local pizzeria.


Anthony has been flipping pies for years now. Working for his father’s business included working out on the east end as far as Southold at one point. He was in middle school at the time and needed a local job that he could easily get to after school. He started working behind the counter in a local pizza place. He gradually was moved to the kitchen where he observed intently everything that was going on around him. Eventually, he was taught to make pizza and hasn’t stopped since. He’s worked in several pizza places locally where he said that he’s learned a lot from each store, each owner, and each cook.


“It was time to take the chance and make that leap into my own business. I was honestly tired of working under other people and felt I knew what I needed to know in order to have my own spot,” said Miller.


At just nineteen years old, he took that chance. The current building that he’s in has had several different owners, a full out fire amongst other issues. Anthony, alongside his family, has worked hard to create just the opposite. As we sat for the interview, his father was out back building a new counter for him and his mother stops in sporadically with her sleeves rolled up to help in the kitchen, when she’s not babysitting her seven grandchildren that is.


Anthony is a big supporter and sponsor to many local organizations, sports teams, and individuals. He strongly believes in giving back and doing so constantly.


“This community keeps me in business. How could I not turn around and support it?”


He sponsors local sports teams, team dinners, pasta nights and a variety of other events. He especially loves feeding the varsity football team the evening before a game and seeing them win the next day.


His pizza store is literally steps away from William Floyd High School where he graduated from in 2020. While most local establishments don’t necessarily encourage the high schoolers business, he purposely runs lunch specials that they can afford. He feels that having the teenagers around the store after school is a good way to connect with them.


“Some of the kids I live on the same block as, others I’ve coached in youth football when they were just children. I love seeing those same kids sit in my store.”


Most recently he has stepped up publicly on social media and said that he was supporting the Back the Blue fundraiser for late Officer Diller who was killed while on duty in Far Rockaway, Queens. Miller donated five dollars of every pie sold on April 17. The social media word started spreading and his store ended up selling one hundred and twenty pies on a Thursday, over double the average for a weekday.


“I saw a lot of familiar faces that day and a lot of new ones as well. It was a nice day of giving to the family of someone who gave everything.”Miller was approached by a local leader after this fundraiser to ask him if he’d be willing to host a Pizza with a Cop event where local kids can come in to enjoy a slice with local law enforcement. The purpose is to create a familiar and casual space where kids can ask the cops questions, raise concerns, and most importantly get to know the individual behind the badge and gun. He happily accepted the offer to have his store participate and be that safe space.


Stop in and say hi to Anthony while grabbing a fresh slice at 520 Mastic Beach Road in Mastic Beach.