Surf Rider Pizza Company Shares Its History and Growth

| January 7, 2019 | 0 Comments

Rossi creates her special sauce cooked up from one of her mom’s appetizer recipes to coat the tasty pizzas.

Every business has a story—sometimes the stars align to make a vision a reality. This story is simple—Surf Rider Pizza Company sprouted from the collaboration of an East Coast native with an idea and a local San Diego business visionary who believed this is exactly what beachgoers needed.

In 2010, Hilary Rossi, the current senior VP of food and beverage at American National Investments (ANI), bought a raggedy pizza shop in OB with a little bakery in the back. Slowly but surely the neighborhood took a liking to the pizza, and catering was in the works. Five years later, Gina Champion-Cain, CEO of ANI, walked into Rossi’s life and the rest is history. Champion-Cain helped Rossi run with her vision of bringing East Coast style pizza to the West Coast that has now spread to four locations throughout San Diego.

The bakery is still a huge component in keeping Surf Rider Pizza Company authentic—making all the dough for the pizza in-house. Rossi also takes pride in her “pizza lab” where she creates the many flavors of Surf Rider with a great deal of family influence, like her famous “dirty sauce” cooked up from one of her mom’s appetizer recipes.

All pizzas are made with hand tossed dough, whole milk mozzarella and baked in fire heated brick ovens in all locations. Other specialties include salads, authentic Stromboli and cheesesteaks and fresh homemade desserts from the onsite bakery.

Now Surf Rider has locations in Ocean Beach, Crown Point, Mission Beach, and now La Mesa, which opened the first week of November. Surf Rider Pizza is privately owned by The Patio Group, a division of American National Investments (ANI). Additional ANI restaurant concepts include Saska’s Steakhouse, Fireside by the Patio, The Patio on Goldfinch, The Patio on Lamont, Harvest by the Patio, and more. For more information, visit


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