Nico’s Pizza brings BYU students into their family

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Nico’s Pizza employees hang drawings on the wall in the kitchen. The family-owned business said they try to create a fun atmosphere for customers and employees. (Jonas Wright)

Nico’s Pizza in Provo offers a “haven” to students who enjoy comfortable environments, original recipes, restaurants that are open late and BYU sports, according to restaurant co-owner Kathy Bertasso.

After taking ownership of Nico’s Pizza, Bertasso and her husband wanted to increase the quality of their food, she said.

The restaurant had passed through many hands after the original owner lost his lease and wanted to maintain the shop, she said.

While keeping the original recipes, they took a step further to create their own pizza dough, as well as many other signature accessories, including breadsticks and a new house dressing, Bertasso said.

“We knew that we had what we wanted when you would walk around the dining room and there were no crusts left after they ate their slice of pizza,” Bertasso said.

The uniqueness of their pizza dough is more than meets the eye, as the dough takes days to prepare through a slow fermentation and bulk rising process, Nate Bertasso, Kathy Bertasso’s son and Nico’s Pizza manager, said.

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Pizza dough and toppings wait to be cooked and served. Employees put toppings on pizza and prepare it for baking. (Jonas Wright)

Nate Bertasso and his wife, as well as their six kids, all work together at Nico’s Pizza. Josie Johnson, Bertasso’s 17-year-old stepdaughter, said Nico’s quality is next level.

What makes Nico’s Pizza special is the close relationships employees have with customers, creating a personal and authentic family-owned business atmosphere, Johnson said.

When she works, it doesn’t feel like she “has” to go to work, but rather that she “gets” to go to work, because it is fun and they all love it, Johnson said.

The owners have always been big BYU fans, Nate Bertasso said. Nico’s Pizza works with select BYU sports, specifically volleyball, to offer free breadsticks according to team performance. This adds to the excitement of the restaurant, according to co-owner Kathy Bertasso.

“It really is the truest sense of still being family-owned, family-run, family held. And yeah, we add college students and locals here, but they become our family too,” Nate Bertasso said.

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Josie Johnson works at Nico’s Pizza. She said one of the best things about Nico’s is the close relationship between employees and customers. (Jonas Wright)
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