Mia Bella brings a pretty pizza place to Hampden

Mia Tosoni is presented a citation from State Rep. Brian Ashe at the grand opening of her restaurant, Mia Bella's Pizzeria, located at 548 Main St. in Hampden. "I hope it becomes a local favorite," she said of her shop.
Reminder Publications photo by Courtney Llewellyn
June 7, 2010.

By Courtney Llewellyn

Reminder Assistant Editor

HAMPDEN -- Mia Tosoni didn't need anyone to give her suggestions for what she should do with her life. She knew what she wanted to do -- open her own restaurant.

At 21, Tosoni is celebrating her vision with the grand opening of Mia Bella's Pizzeria, located at 548 Main St.

"My dad had three pizzerias before so I grew up in this, and going to school really wasn't my thing," Tosoni said. "I wanted something for myself and to keep a family tradition going."

Mia Bella's opened on May 18. The restaurant offers a variety of appetizers, salads, wings, grinders, pizzas, plus specialty gourmet pizzas and pasta by the bucket.

"Our Mia Bella Country Pizza is one of our favorites," Tosoni explained. The pizza is topped with chicken, bacon, onions, mozzarella and ranch dressing.

She added that everything at the restaurant is made from scratch and that she tries to purchase as much local produce as possible; she utilizes the Hampden Farmers' Market, which takes place every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Main Street.

And, although she's relatively new to the town's business community, Tosoni told Reminder Publications she's already hoping to get involved with its residents.

"I'm thinking something like rewarding students with free lunches for good grades or attendance," she said.

Tosoni's goal with Mia Bella's is to grow her business and provide good food and good service to the people of Hampden and beyond.

She chose to set up shop in Hampden because nearby East Longmeadow and Springfield have pizzerias "everywhere you turn." She felt her location on Main Street was "a perfect spot" and that she can offer something new to the town.

"Hampden is a really nice community," Tosoni said. "I like it here."

She continued that she has another goal as well. "I hope it becomes a local favorite," she said of her shop. She added that she hopes it can become a full-menu restaurant in the future.

On May 27, State Rep. Brian Ashe stopped by the pizzeria to present Tosoni with a citation for her hard work.

"To open a new business in this economy is a fantastic thing," Ashe said. He congratulated Tosoni on her entrepreneurship.

Ashe and Tosoni were joined at the grand opening celebration by Ashe's aide, Dan Zwirko, and members of Tosoni's family: Stephen Ford, her father; Lisa Ford, her mother; Ashleigh Ford, her sister; and Lou Tranghese, her grandfather.

Mia Bella's Pizzeria is open Monday through Thursday from 4 to 10 p.m., Friday from 4 to 11 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. Tosoni said hours may be extended in the future.

Take out menus are available at the restaurant. Limited delivery to Hampden, Wilbraham, East Longmeadow and Connecticut is being offered.

Are you a young entrepreneur, ages 16 to 30, who would like to spread the word about your business?

Contact Assistant Editor Katelyn Gendron at katelyn@thereminder.com to learn how to share your story.

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