Francesca’s Pizzeria is providing opportunity for students one slice at a time
Though a new business to Brownstown, Francesca’s Brick Oven Pizzeria has already made its presence felt in the community through its donation of free pizza for events and sponsorship of sports teams at the Woodhaven-Brownstown School District (WBSD). Owners Francesca and Rami Elawadi feel strongly about giving back to the community, especially to their children’s school and have made the relationship to the district a priority.
“When we opened in July 2022, it was important to us that the school district knew we were here and were planning to support them,” Francesca said. “Superintendent Greathead has also been a supporter of the pizzeria, placing his own orders for school events. Our working relationship has been fantastic.”
Francesca’s Brick Oven Pizzeria makes authentic Napolitana pizza, made with flour imported from Italy and homemade sauce. The distinguishing factor between American pizza and Napolitana pizza is the crust. Low in gluten and made with no sugar or preservatives, it tends to be much chewier and airier. It also has charred back spots that bring out the flavor of the whole pizza.
“I am from Naples, Italy, where pizza was first invented,” Francesca continued. “The opportunity to bring this pizza to Brownstown is so special to me. I want everyone to experience my pizza at least once.”
To honor the school district, the restaurant named one of their pizzas the Woodhaven Warrior. Packed with protein, this meat lovers’ pizza had WBSD athletes in mind. Additionally, of the pizzeria’s 25-person staff, six are WBSD students. They hope to continue to be a place where students from the area can get work experience.
Over the last year, the pizzeria has hosted “dine out” events from Wegienka Elementary, Brownstown Middle School and Yake Elementary. At these events, a portion of each bill is donated back to that school’s PTO to help fund activities or events for students. School fundraising events will begin again in the fall.
Francesca’s also provided lunch to the Wegienka Elementary staff for a celebration and Yake Elementary during recent conferences. This past year, the football teams were unable to collect enough money to purchase a team meal, so Francesca’s Brick Oven Pizzeria donated a meal to the Varsity team to acknowledge the group’s hard work during the season.
“Our children attend Yake Elementary School and will continue on to Brownstown Middle School and then Woodhaven High School,” Francesa said. “I really want to have the kind of business that supports my children’s education and provides them enhanced opportunities.”
Outside of the district, the Elawadi’s charitable efforts include bringing dinner to the fire station, the police station and the Beaumont hospital on Telegraph. They also partner with the Rotary Club and support foodie events in the Downriver area.
“We are a part of this community,” Francesca said. “As soon as we moved in, we went to all of the local businesses and offered them pizza. We are always looking for ways to get more involved and give back. It’s a part of our business philosophy. We look forward to seeing and contributing to the future success of Woodhaven-Brownstown School District and the community.”