SAN ANTONIO — A couple moved to San Antonio with big dreams to open a business. They bought a pizzeria that was drowning in debt and made it their own after years of hard work.
It's called Mattenga's Pizzeria, and they have six locations in the San Antonio area. Their flagship store is located in Schertz on 6044 FM3009 Ste 290. We visited their store on 7863 Callaghan Road on the northwest side.
The name Mattenga's is Matt and Enga fused together, which is the name of the owners. They met at New Mexico Tech in the engineering program.
"We got married junior year, and we had a son, and we really wanted to spend more time with him," said Hengam "Enga" Stanfield. "We realized, you know what, let's go be in business for ourselves. How is that more difficult than differential equations? I mean seriously!"
But, it didn't come easily.
"We sold our home and we really had no money, so we just bought that failing pizzeria. And so for two to three years, we made no profit. We had a futon. We'd take naps there and we worked about 120 hours, as well as my parents," she said. "It takes a lot of effort and work to get to a level where you have momentum. By God's grace we're here."
And they incorporated their roots in San Antonio.
"We made the Santa Fe which was the 20 inch. That's our party size. It's very big," said Matthew Stanfield. "We came from New Mexico and had to have hatch green chili on a pizza. All the other places around did not have hatch green chile. It just makes a fabulous pizza."
What also makes their pizza stand out is the dough recipe that’s been modified by their family over generations. And, the cheese.
"We shred at least four tons of cheese every month. That's, you know, what? Three Camrys that we shred in cheese," he said.
They also told us the best way to know if you're eating an authentic pizza.
"We go simple. Italian food doesn't need to be complicated. You usually need to get a cheese pizza when you go taste a real pizza. So, every ingredient, we put a lot of work into it," said Hengam.
We tasted those fresh ingredients in the Margarita Pizza with its fresh basil.
And the Texas Roll.
"We've filled that thing with brisket, that meat, it's a little bit smoky. You've got the barbecue sauce. It's a little bit sweet. You've got the cheese and the onions; it's just a perfect balance. Dip that in that jalapeno Texas ranch. And it is just fantastic," said Matthew.
They told us how they try to keep their prices affordable, and they also said that they love donating pizzas to schools and other locals.
"After COVD, everybody was kind of lonely. They were feeling separated. The number one food that brought everybody together during that time was pizza," said Matthew. "You are literally sharing the same piece of bread."
They want families to be able to experience pizza together. So, if someone has dietary restrictions, they can typically pivot and making something suitable for their needs.
"We're part of the neighborhood wherever we're at... this is what we love. We love to thrive. We love to see businesses around us to succeed," said Hengam. "It's more than a pizza."
Click here to explore Mattenga's website. And, mark your calendar for Pi Day on March 14, or 3.14. They offer a special $3.14 deal on this day every year. Fun fact: that's also Albert Einstein's birthday.
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