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Albanian-American Success with a Taste of New York Pizza in Phoenix


In the heart of Phoenix, Arizona, a remarkable story of Albanian-American success is unfolding, one delicious slice at a time. Don’s NY Pizza, owned by Patriot and Armand Skudrinja, isn’t just a pizzeria; it’s a beacon of Albanian resilience and entrepreneurial spirit. Since 2016, this charming little shop in West Phoenix has been crafting authentic Neapolitan New York-style pizzas, much to the delight of the local Albanian-American community and beyond.

Patriot and Armand Skudrinja’s journey is one of courage and determination, resonating deeply with the Albanian-American narrative. Fleeing Albania amidst political unrest, Patriot sought refuge and opportunity first in Italy, then in the United States. His story mirrors that of many Albanian-Americans who left their homeland in search of a better life, carrying with them dreams and rich traditions.

In Italy, Patriot mastered the art of pizza making, learning traditional Neapolitan techniques, a skill he brought to the U.S. This culinary expertise was further refined in Buffalo, New York, where Patriot and his brother Armand began their American pizza journey. Their move to Arizona in 2013, and the subsequent opening of Don’s NY Pizza, is a proud moment for the Albanian-American community, showcasing their ability to thrive and contribute to the American mosaic.

At Don’s NY Pizza, the Skudrinja brothers serve over 130 pizzas a day, with their pepperoni pizza and wings becoming local favorites. Their secret? “Fresh dough, fresh sauce we make it every day, and good cheese,” Patriot says. This commitment to quality is something that many Albanian-Americans, known for their hospitality and love for good food, can deeply appreciate.

The Skudrinjas’ story is particularly inspiring to the Albanian-American youth. Patriot’s son, Milot, who is deeply involved in the family business, symbolizes the continuity of the Albanian entrepreneurial spirit across generations. “Not a lot of people can really build what he built,” Milot remarks about his father, embodying the pride and respect that many young Albanian-Americans feel towards their parents’ sacrifices and achievements.

Patriot’s journey, however, has not been without challenges. Navigating a new language and culture, he has managed to turn these obstacles into a unique, authentic experience for his customers. This resilience in the face of adversity is something that resonates with many Albanian-Americans, who have similar stories of overcoming challenges in their pursuit of the American dream.

Located just a short drive from State Farm Stadium, Don’s NY Pizza is more than a dining spot; it’s a destination that celebrates the Albanian-American journey. It’s a place where community members can gather, share stories, and enjoy a taste of home, reminding them of their rich heritage and the shared experiences of their community in America.

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