My Roma Pizza is in the same boat as all the local merchants not lucky enough to be at the beach during the summer. Business has been slow and, on top of that, competition has steadily increased.


My Roma Pizza is in the same boat as all the local merchants not lucky enough to be at the beach during the summer.

Business has been slow and, on top of that, competition has steadily increased as evidenced by the opening of a competitor just across Bay Road, Porter’s Pizza.

But My Roma Pizza General Manager Simo Bekka welcomes the competition.

“Everybody’s trying to make a living,” Bekka said. “But, at the end pretty much the best one wins — quality of food, customer service.”
Bekka has seen a lot of pizza shops come and go.

“In the [nearby] Rodney Village Location , we’ve seen three pizza shops in the last year and a half,” he said.

But Bekka promises that My Roma Pizza off Lafferty Lane is here to stay, even if it means a recent marketing push aimed at bringing in more people through the doors.

My Roma Pizza off Lafferty Lane, not to be confused with Roma Ristorante, is the fourth store that Bekka’s family opened more than a year ago. He and his two brothers and two cousins first opened My Roma Pizza shops in Elkton, Md.; Middletown and the Hamlet Shopping Center in North Dover. The newest store serves the South Dover, Camden and Magnolia areas.

“But July and August are two of the slowest months for the pizza business if you’re not toward the shore and don’t’ have a major location,” Bekka said. “You can see all the big businesses are hurting as well. I don’t compare myself to Pizza Hut, Papa John’s or Domino’s. But you see all these drops in prices. You see a large pizza with anything on it for $10 or $6 pizzas. You ask yourself, how can they survive with these prices?”

In addition to pizza, he specializes in Italian entrees and pasta. And he sees
a lot of the same faces coming back, which is a good thing, he said.

Bekka keeps his prices reasonable, such as $8.99 for spaghetti and meatballs. But he is now dropping the price down to $7.99 on Friday, his busiest night of the week, Bekka said. Any day of the week, one of his dinners is a dollar off.

And there are customer appreciation days for Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays – the slowest days, Bekka said. From 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. customers pay a price based on when they call.

“Let’s say you call at 5:01. You’re going to pay $5.01,” Bekka said. “I figured this niche would be good.”

But one of the most important things that Bekka wants customers want to know is they must turn onto Lafferty Lane in order to get to his shop. If they are driving south on Bay Road, they must turn left onto Lafferty and turn left into the shopping center to get to My Roma. If they make a u-turn and try to turn directly into My Roma, which is physically off South Bay Road, they will end up bound for the Del. Route 1 toll plaza and not too happy.

If they are headed north on Bay Road, turn right onto Lafferty and make a left into the shopping center.

“It’s very unfortunate,” he said. “We’re begging DelDOT to at least say turn here for the shopping center — just something. And I’ve talked to my landlord and asked her about a name for the shopping center, like Lafferty Plaza.”