Michael Lastoria, Founding CEO & President, &pizza

Michael Lastoria
Founding CEO & President 


Michael Lastoria is a serial entrepreneur. He builds companies on four core principles: design-driven, culture-centric, brand-led, and most importantly, morally sound.

In 2012, he co-founded &pizza, a fast-casual pizza chain built to that end. In four years, he has raised $40 million for expansion and growth, opening 15 shops in the Washington, D.C. area and Baltimore, with significant expansion on the horizon.The company's success, he asserts, is built on the shoulders of the company's employees, the &pizza Tribe. They live and breathe the brand and its culture, and some tribe members even tattoo their allegiance in ink; "&" tattoos are offered for free by the brand to its Tribe as a demonstration of its commitment to building a cultural movement, not just a product-pusher. Every shop is different, designed around, with, and inspired by the community it serves, often times incorporating local artists' work into their design.

He is also a Founding Partner at JWALK, a New York based full service creative agency, leading the company in growth strategy and business development. Straddling the line between business man and creative, he says, helps him keep his business mind in the clouds and his creative inclinations grounded in reality.

In 2002, he founded a leading marketing and media services company. As co-founder and CEO, Michael oversaw the five year growth of the company and successful sale to Seaport Capital, a New York-based private equity firm, in 2006.

Today, Michael is a well-recognized leader in the startup world and speaks regularly on the value of design thinking, innovation and entrepreneurship. Michael has been identified as one of the country's of the top 25 fast casual executives, and named one of the Washington Business Journal's 40 Under 40. Michael studied Economics and Business at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California.



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