Behind The Crust: Bernatello’s Pizza

By Kerry McNally, WCCO-TV

MAPLE LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) — Pizza is easily one of the most popular foods here in Minnesota and when it comes to frozen pizza, there are many brands to choose from.

But one brand comes from a Minnesota family that has built a growing frozen pizza business by focusing on the “thin” — crust, that is.

Cranking out 30 million pizzas a year isn’t easy and yet, that’s what Bill Ramsay and his family have been working towards since 1982.

“Our success has been for a number of reasons but I think you saw some of that today with our people over there,” he said. “They’re the ones that make the company go.”

Meet the extended family — all 300 of them in Maple Lake. Ramsay said his employees are the main reason Bernatellos has been able to compete with the billion-dollar big guys.

“Being the David of the pizza industry fighting those Goliaths sometimes can be in a good position to be in,” Ramsay said.

The Ramsay’s stone, in this metaphor, is their new Bellatoria Pizza.

“The ultra thin crust pizza we’ve launch Sunday Brunch, a phenomenal product,” he said.

How phenomenal? This family affair has grown an average of 14 percent annually. Ramsay said that’s just the way they like it.

“We intend to grow. We will do it on a slower basis than somebody might expect if they were a Wall Street company or whatever, we’ll just take our time,” he said.

The company’s pizzas and cheese breads are now in Costco stores all across the country. And don’t be surprised if you start seeing them in grocery stores outside of the upper Midwest as well.

  • Mr.Fury

    Worst frozen pizza ever.

  • tom

    idk whats worse this or jacks. In any event tombstone or digorno are tops

  • Terry

    I stick with local companies whenever possible.
    Glad to know they are local – will start buying them.

  • Margo

    I love Bellatoria Pizza and I am soo happy it is a local company. :)

  • Ang

    I absolutely love their Chicken Alfredo pizza and their Spinach and Mushroom Garlic Bread. Great pizza, even better knowing it’s local.

  • Ed

    Meh, I’ve had it but not my favorite. Palermo & Digorno are way better.

  • bernie

    Bellatoira is ok pizza. Bernatellos is terrible, terrible pizza easily as bad as Jacks. Save yourself the trouble and buy a Heggies pizza, they are the best frozen pizza around, only cost a few more bucks and are also made right here in Onamis MN!

  • mike

    Heggies all the way!!!

  • bernie

    Yeah! See, mike knows!!!!! Oops I meant Onamia MN. I was too busy thinking about Heggies to type correctly, lol.

  • JamieinMN

    My favorite is Heggies……hands down for frozen pizza. A bit more spendy than other leading pizzas, but it’s worth it especially after a night of drinking :-D

  • mary

    I really like the Bellatoria pizzas. Pleased to know it is local, too!

  • b

    best ever hands down go bernatellos

  • KD

    I LOVE this pizza. its amazing.

  • DMT

    Whomever says that it is the worst Pizza Ever obviously has no taste at all. I have a feeling that came from a competitor or a family member of a competitor. The many people who have tried Bellatoria Pizza have expressed how very good it is. Nice try!

  • Mr.Fury

    I’m actually embarrassed its local.

  • bernie

    Like I said I don’t mind Bellatoria,I wasnt talking about Bellatoria, the supreme one they have is decent, I would buy it again when theres a sale. I don’t work for a pizza co. or have anybody in my family that works for one. Bernatellos on the other hand, no good.

  • DMT

    Mr. Fury sounds like an angry man for some reason. Lighten up pal its just Pizza. The amazing thing is that the persons reading this stuff must have nothing better to do if they are not or dont know somebody in the industry. To keep comenting on a site that has nothing to do with anything but Pizza. To keep going back and seeing what other people have to say or to extend your negative comments further is a joke. If you dont like it then dont buy it, but let it go. Sounds like theres a little more to the story.

  • Mr.Fury

    Why are you defending this garbage pizza?To keep going back and seeing what other people have to say or to extend your positive comments further is a joke. If you like it then buy it, but let it go. Sounds like theres a little more to the story.

  • Judy

    I don’t think it’s garbage Mr Fury. So we have a difference of opinion, let it go. I love the Sausage Italia and the Pepperoni.

  • DMT

    Very Original Mr. Fury, If you hate the line of Pizzas so much, then why are you on their Website at all. You and the chucklehead WE should just get togeather and start your own Pizza Company and show the rest of us what real Pizza is. I cant wait to see it on the market. Have a Great evening and enjoy yourself.

  • DJM

    You all should try Gourmet Parlor Pizza in Royalton, stop in the retail store on Hwy 10 north of Rice.

  • Kevin

    Bernatellos Pizza is by FAR the best tasting frozen pizza hands down!
    this is so funny because we’ve been having Friday night zah parties for years & it’s ALWAYS Bernatello’s. even the guys at the office go in on the Buy One Get One & we’re cookin’ pizza’s all month.

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