TROY -- Amy Marie Middlestead is making waves in the local pizza world. After working for the Inferno pizza group for a decade, she purchased one of its locations and is about to reopen a second, all in roughly an eight-month span.
In addition to owning and operating the Troy venue at 79 Campbell Avenue near Hudson Valley Community College, she is preparing to reopen the Inferno at 84 Ontario Street in Cohoes, a city known for its love of pizza (Dom’s, Mick’s, Pop’s, Cohoes House of Pizza, New York Style, Pizza Stop, etc.).
"They had nine locations at one point; in business for over 50 years," she tells me. "I worked for them for 10, managing their Troy location, and when the opportunity [to purchase it last December] presented itself I couldn't say no." She and her father partnered in the venture. As she posted on Facebook, "I really couldn't do it without the support of my parents, though -- Arthur and Cheryl Middlestead."
As far as debuting pizzeria No. 2, "We don't have an official opening date for Cohoes yet. We're hoping in about a week or so," the Lansingburgh native said today.
The Inferno group has sold off a number of its locations with licensing to continue using the familiar name. It still owns and operates three locations -- 496 Albany-Shaker Road in Loudonville, its original, 167 Troy-Schenectady Road in Latham, and 1827 Western Avenue in Guilderland -- and has one planned for Malta, according to the company website. Another Inferno at 198 Lisha Kill Road in Niskayuna also is independently owned.