December 4, 2013
Faces of Fauquier: “Family first” for pizzeria employee
A 2006 Fauquier High grad, Joe Di Lisi likes to visit family in Sicily “and enjoy all the good food.”
I like living here because it’s in the country, for one thing. People know how to really treat each other out here. I just love it here. This is my town. But, don’t get me wrong, I love to travel.
Joe Di Lisi has passion for family, food, customers and his hometown of Marshall.
He works at his family’s Main Street restaurant, Joe’s Pizza, serving up traditional Italian food.
The restaurant, named for his Uncle Joe, opened in 1988, also the year of Mr. Di Lisi’s birth, and the name stuck.
“It’s about family first and foremost,” he said of a strong, Italian heritage, which carries into the atmosphere of the restaurant.
A native of Fauquier, Mr. Di Lisi, works at the restaurant “for the people," he explained. “This town has watched me grow up.”
“ ‘Vote for me if I ever run for mayor’ has always been a good joke around here about me,” he said. (As an unincorporated village, Marshall has no town council or mayor, of course.)
The best advice he has ever received came from a local customer, “Skeets” White, who said: “Love many and trust few, and learn to paddle your own canoe.”
Helps manage his family business, Joe’s Pizza & Italian Restaurant in Marshall.
I started working here when I was 15. Every family member has his or her own part. My brother works in the kitchen, my mom is the secretary, my dad does everything. My father started the restaurant in 1988, and we have been serving Marshall for a long time.
• Why you do the job?
For the people. This town has watched me grow up. I think of the restaurant as a family member. The more I put into Joe’s the more I get back.
Father, Maurizio; mother, Suzanne; brother, Anthony, and sister, Danielle.
Fauquier High School, 2006.
• Civic involvement
I donate blood at the Red Cross drives all the time in Marshall. I try to help out with anything that is community-oriented in Marshall. At the Christmas parade, the restaurant gives out free pizza to kids.
• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
All my life. I was born and raised here.
• Why do you live here?
Well, for many reasons. I like living here because it’s in the country, for one thing. People know how to really treat each other out here. I just love it here. This is my town. But, don’t get me wrong, I love to travel.
• How do you describe this county?
It goes right back to the people. It’s a beautiful county and you can get an eyeful of country and nature anywhere. It’s a very wealthy county; lots of famous people come here as a retreat of sorts.
• What would you change about Fauquier?
I like it the way it is. Maybe lower taxes, but that’s about it. I just hope they don’t bring a lot of growth here.
• What do you do for fun?
I’m very sports oriented. I manage a softball team and we won first place the first season we played. When it’s warmer, I enjoy camping, hiking and having a nice cold beer by the fire, telling jokes with my friends.
• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
Briar Hill Farm in Delaplane, on top of the hill in Ada by the big cabin and Crenshaw Road along Goose Creek.
• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
Probably kind of the same. It’s hard to say. Warrenton is booming and taking off, but Marshall and The Plains are pretty much the same.
• Favorite TV show?
“Breaking Bad,” “The Walking Dead,” and “Deadwood.”
• Favorite Movie?
“Varsity Blues,” “Sling Blade” and “Scarface.”
• Favorite book?
“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho.
• Favorite vacation spot?
Sicily, Italy is my number one spot. I like to visit my family over there and enjoy all the good food.
• Favorite food?
Calamari and pizza.
• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
“Love many and trust few and learn to paddle your own canoe.” “Skeets” White, an 89-year-old man, who is a regular customer at the restaurant, told me that.
• Who’s your hero and why?
My dad, because he has always been very strong and smart in many ways. He built his own house and did the tile work in the restaurant and built the outdoor fireplace here. He is loving, respectful and wise, and has taught me a lot.
• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
I would buy everyone a slice of Joe’s pizza and take all of my friends in Marshall on a cruise.
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