Mama Lucia's Pizza Is on the Hunt for a Sassy Grandma

The St. Louis–style frozen pizza company is conducting an open-call for a brand ambassador


click to enlarge Lucia's Pizza are seeking a brand nonna.
Chris Bauer
Lucia's Pizza are seeking a brand nonna.

Picture it: St. Louis, 2022. An iconic pizza brand needs a nonna.

Lucia's Pizza president Scott Ashby and his team are on the hunt for their very own Sophia Petrillo to rep their iconic Mama Lucia's frozen pizza brand. Dubbed a "Grandma Brand Ambassador," or "nonna" in Italian parlance, the yet-unnamed spokesperson will serve as the face of the pizza company, "offering wisdom to the next generation and expressing her uncensored opinions on topics of her choice." The search, which began in August and closes this Friday, September 16th, aims to uncover a company matriarch, something Ashby hopes will connect customers with Lucia's very own nonna who appears on its frozen pizza labels.

"She's at the heart of the brand; the original Mama Lucia created the pizza line, and we still use her silhouette," Ashby says. "A lot of people may not have been around when she was running the business, so we thought we would introduce her to the world to engage the next generation of people coming up who might not be familiar with Lucia's."

Founded 40 years ago by Lucia Tumminello, Mama Lucia's got its start as a word-of-mouth Hill neighborhood staple before going on to become the first St. Louis style frozen pizza available in grocery stores. Over the years, the brand has grown to include both its namesake frozen pies and a line of 4-Hands Brewery inspired pizzas, both of which have endeared themselves to the St. Louis community as a source of edible civic pride. Ashby is hoping to build upon this by finding a recognizable brand ambassador who will become the face of Lucia's, a move inspired by the rise of "grandma influencers" in TikTok.

"We're trying to find someone with personality," Ashby says. "She's probably older, but she doesn't have to be; she doesn't have to be Italian, but we want someone who is a little sassy and that we can have fun with."

According to the application, the nonna gig is a paid opportunity with a minimal monthly time commitment. Interested applicants are encouraged to visit www.luciaspizza.com/nonna-needed where they will submit a headshot and answer a few questions ranging from life advice to cooking tips. Those who make it through the initial application process will be invited to partake in an in-person interview where Ashby and company will make their final decision.

"We want someone who when she talks, people are going to listen to her," Ashby says. "It's one of those things where we will know it when we see it."