FLORENCE, S.C. — Florence’s newest pizzeria has opened on Beltline Drive next to Walmart. Pizza Mio, at 230 N. Beltline Drive, blends the culinary talents of Stefano’s Italian restaurant in Florence with those of the Downcountry Dining Group, owners of Tubb’s.

Pizza Mio serves an 11- inch personal pizza that pairs scratch-made ingredients with fast cook times.

“You have an option to build your own pizza for one low price (regardless of the number of ingredients),” said Kyle Hardee, a member of the Downcountry Dining Group.

Or you can chose from one of their creations such as the Regal, made of sliced mushrooms, Portabella mushrooms, mozzarella, asiago, truffle aioli drizzle and balsamic drizzle, or the Carmella with srirach sausage, capicola, hot peppers, mozzarella, asiago, crushed red peppers and sriracha drizzle.

“Get personal with your pizza” is their slogan.

There are crust, sauce, cheese and topping options.

“All our dough is scratch made,” Hardee said. “And we use premium ingredients.”

“We had a special oven brought over from Verona, Italy,” said Steve Toniolo, owner of Stefano’s.

The oven cooks the pizza at 700 degrees, Hardee said. He said the pizza comes out of the oven in three to four minutes.

In addition to pizza, the restaurant offers salads, sides such as garlic and cheese bread and cinnamon bread.

“We plan to have lunch specials, offering a half pizza, salad and drink,” Hardee said.

Pizza Mio offers call-ahead pick-up service and will be incorporating a third-party delivery service soon.

Hardee said a “soft opening” was great. He said his staff numbers about 25, and they are perfecting their pizza-making skills with the ultimate goal of having the customer in and out in about 15 minutes.

Hardee said Pizza Mio was a true collaborative effort from the color scheme to the naming of the pizzas.

“Ryan is teaching me to pull dough,” Hardee said.

“People can expect the level of customer service and ingredients that we have at all of our other restaurants,” Hardee said. “I think we have a very unique restaurant in the Florence area.”

He said there is no other pizza place on their side of town. He said they also love the idea of being across from West Florence High School.

He said between the two groups of restaurateurs, they provide more than 150 jobs in the area.

He said Steve and Anna Toniolo started Stefano’s approximately 30 years ago. Their sons Steven and Ryan are both part of Pizza Mio. Downcountry Dining Group is run by Hardee, Steven Toniolo and Travis Miller.

Stefano’s and Cibo in Florence are owned by the Toniolo family. Downcountry Dining Group also owns King Jefe in downtown Florence and Sweet at McLeod. They owned Revival Burger, which is closed.

“We believe in promoting from within,” Hardee said.

Chelsea Berry is the general manager. She has 8½ years of experience in the restaurant business working at Stefano’s.

He said all of their managers have worked their way up from lower positions. He said they have one kitchen manager who started out as a dishwasher.

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