Chef’s Delight: Pat Kalaboke – Owner of Pat’s Pizzeria


Only a few years in existence, Pat’s Pizzeria is taking the Finger Lakes Region by storm. Their quality food and excellent service have endeared them to their customers. The business has locations in Ovid, Waterloo, Lyons, and Ithaca.

LIFL: Pat, how did you get your start in the pizza business?

In 2002 I started delivering pizzas for a local regional chain after being laid off in the construction business.

What encouraged you to start your own business?

After moving up the ranks into upper-level management with the other company, I saw the benefits of helping people and creating opportunities to encourage them to grow.

What is meant by your “bringing it home” philosophy?

I started the business in January 2018. I moved back to Geneva – my hometown – and began training and promoting my own employees. It was a homecoming of sorts. I also wanted to offer a taste of home by incorporating old family recipes into some of our sauces and dough.

In what way do you stand out from other pizza shops? What is a customer favorite?

Pat’s Pizzeria stands out because of the recipes. We also love taking care of our customers and team. We now have 14 managers between the four locations. Our number one customer favorite is split between the Buffalo Chicken Pizza and the Old World Pizza.

I like your customer service aspect. Please tell me a little more about that philosophy.

I’ve been to theme parks, hotels, and other restaurants where it felt as if I was receiving the highest level of customer service possible and was so moved that I decided to “bring it home” and implement this mindset within my own company.

Was there any other profession you wanted before you became a chef?

Not really. I have worked in a variety of different jobs — from suit and tie to digging ditches — but I’ve always been totally comfortable in a kitchen.

What are your future plans for the pizzerias?

We’d love to grow in every area of Pat’s Pizzeria. Quality and service are our main objectives. Taking care of people, customers, and employees is what we strive for.  Continually serving our communities with excellent food and service and helping our team get to the next level professionally and personally is what keeps us going. We give God the glory for what he has increased this far and for what’s to come. We are excited!

What about the Finger Lakes Region inspires you?

It is a beautiful area! We get to enjoy all four seasons on the lakes and we love the outdoor activities, but most of all it’s the people who inspire me. 



Pat sprinkles cheese over the top of a fresh-out-of-the-oven Old World Pizza in his Ovid shop.

The Old World Pizza

Describe the process of making the Old World Pizza.

It’s a thin crust brushed with our homemade garlic sauce, topped with Italian sausage crumble, red onion, and our specialty homestyle pepperoni, then drizzled atop with our marinara.

Why do you shred your own mozzarella cheese from a block?

We shred our “premium” mozzarella block daily. The block stays fresher longer and there is a starch powder added to a pre-shredded mozzarella that dilutes the flavor and changes the texture.

In what other ways does this pizza, and your other products, stand out from the rest?

We really take our time when choosing and testing different items and ingredients for our menu. We take much pride in knowing we make our recipes with some of the best ingredients available. However, there is one main ingredient that goes into this specialty pizza along with other products at Pat’s Pizzeria. Not just time, effort, and care but they are made with love. We genuinely enjoy watching customers fall in love with our homestyle cooked recipes.

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