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Italian Sensation Owner Takes Pride in His Pizzas

Maurizio Illiano opened his third Italian restaurant this month in Perry Hall.

Being the owner doesn't mean you don't make the pizzas.

Maurizio Illiano, 41, prides himself on working in his restaurants. Illiano owns three Italian Sensation shops in Bel Air, Fallston and, as of this month, Perry Hall.

Located near the along Belair Road, he said he's well acquainted with the risks of opening a restaurant.

"There's always a risk when you open a restaurant, good economy or bad economy, but it's a risk you have to take," Illiano said.

The Perry Hall location cost about $600,000 to launch. He said he expects it to make about $100,000 in sales in the first year and eventually generate an annual profit margin of between 10 percent to 15 percent.

The 41-year-old Italian immigrated to the United States 23 years ago. He lives with his wife and two children in Fallston.

The Perry Hall community has been welcoming, he said, with many local customers recognizing him from the Harford County locations.

Illiano said he loves his work, although it sometimes consumes him.

"Sometimes you don't sleep at nighttime. You close your eyes and you see pizzas, you see customers and problems. But that's OK. It's all part of the success, I guess," he said.

Christie Pulvino July 29, 2011 at 12:10 PM
The owner seems really cool, we were in need of some pizza this past Sunday and his store was the only one open at 11:00 am. We were actually there at 10:50 am and he took our order anyway, nice guy. It was our first time getting food from there and the pizza was really good! I like places with a hometown, non-corporate feel!
Tim July 29, 2011 at 12:38 PM
600k? To start yet another pizza joint in Perry Hall (and a chain, on top of that - make no mistake). God bless him for investing in the community, but he's entering a market that's oversaturated. I wish he (or someone else) would provide a service or product that's not already triple covered in Perry Hall one of these days. My prediction: Out of business within a year. 18 months if he's well funded. I'd err closer to a year though, based on the location. Do all of Perry Hall Inhabitants want nothing more then italian food and drug stores? I don't get it. Even if I ate "Italian food out" once a week I couldn't hit all of the places you could get decent pizza/italian foods here in a month. Good luck to you Maurizio - I sincerely hope you prove me wrong.
Phil p July 29, 2011 at 01:20 PM
they serve a decent product and i wish him good luck
Immanuel Baptist Church July 29, 2011 at 01:44 PM
We've eaten there twice and both times got the same thing - one of their pannini sandwiches. (It's the first one listed under Pannini and starts with an "F" but I can't remember how to even begin to spell it now!). It's delicious!! My son ordered a stromboli and it looked very good. I'm sure we'll be back. They are much more than a pizza shop. I wish them well in their new venture here in Perry Hall!
BK July 29, 2011 at 02:08 PM
Mauri rules. Great guy. Good food too at Italian Sensations. He also owns a great little restaurant in Bel Air, in the same shopping center on Rt 24 as Buffalo Wild Wings. I wish him much success.
Rick July 29, 2011 at 07:10 PM
Looking forward to trying it!
Cmo August 02, 2011 at 12:01 AM
@ Tim, give the guy a chance - at least he was willing to go into the crummy Perry Hall Square shopping center that no one wants to invest in! Good luck Mauricio, my family will sure to check you out, Pizza Hut every Friday is getting rather boring! It's nice to have something new to look forward to once in a while.
Jane Doe August 02, 2011 at 11:49 PM
Just to let everyone know...this person got it wrong and Italian Sensation is not a chain restaurant. By the way the food is excellent!
Jane Doe August 02, 2011 at 11:53 PM
Italian Sensation is excellent! My whole family loves it...there's something for everyone! When you get a grilled chicken caesar salad, they actually grill the chicken fresh! The service there is so friendly. It's refreshing when you can ask the cashier what a dish is like and they can actually tell you about it or recommend something for you! They were willing to make any changes that I wanted and Maurizio was so friendly to the kids! It's deffinitely worth trying!
Tim August 03, 2011 at 04:01 AM
Jane: Indeed, I double checked and I am absolutely wrong. Not sure what I was looking at when I posted this. Probably my other monitor/work distraction. Thanks for the correction.
Jane Doe August 13, 2011 at 10:38 PM
Well Tim, I am very glad that you are the kind of person who can admit to mistakes:) That is admirable of you.
Jane Doe August 28, 2011 at 11:40 PM
I think the panini you're talking about is the Frizzante panini.

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