ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Dave Portnoy is worth $40 million, but the founder of the digital sports conglomerate Barstool Sports might be better known as “the pizza review guy.” One rating from him could make or break a business, and a local joint is looking to cash in.
The internet celebrity has continued his daily pizza reviews with frozen pies during the coronavirus pandemic, while stuck in his New York City apartment. His address accidentally made it into one of his videos, and soon his living room became a jungle of boxes.
Frank Scavio, owner of Paesan’s Pizza, capitalized on the oversight. He was one of the first shops to send Portnoy a care package, which was opened during a live video on social media.
“I didn’t go to sleep that night. It was definitely a nice high,” Scavio said. Developing the frozen pizza has been his “baby” the past couple of years. During the pandemic, the revenue stream has helped the business stay afloat. While sales across his five stores are down 20-30 percent, his frozen pizza sales have tripled or quadrupled.
Paesan’s pie was showcased again in front of thousands of viewers during a segment in which Portnoy presented the pizzas that went bad when his freezer broke. So Scavio sent another package.
The multimillion-dollar pizza reviewer remembered the Albany-based business, and put the box aside to try this week.
“So every day, me and my kids, we go downstairs and we watch, and we hope,” said Scavio.
Portnoy reviews one pizza per day at 6 p.m.