Meridian Industrial

AURORA'S PIZZA

2024-02-01 | MIASHA LEE

Category:

If you are in Enfield, Connecticut and stumble across a place on 117 Hazard Ave. called Aurora’s Pizza, then you’re in for a treat. They make specialty pizzas in Guatemalan style.

Owner Karen Valenzuela said, “To me Guatemalan food is made with lots of flavor. It’s what I know from seeing my mother, grandmother, and uncle when they cooked and baked back in Guatemala. I grew up seeing them and learned a lot at a young age.”

Valenzuela was born in Guatemala and came to the United States when she was 14. Her first job was at her uncle’s bakery when she was 12 years old, and she has been baking and working at restaurants ever since.

Aurora’s Pizza is an expansion of Aurora’s Restaurant on Capitol Avenue in Hartford, Connecticut run by Valenzuela’s mother, sister and brother. The family always wanted something of their own and the opportunity came in Hartford first. Then they wanted to expand and try their hand at pizzas. When a location became available in Enfield, they took it.

When Aurora’s Pizza opened on January 15, 2023, Valenzuela didn’t know what to expect. She explained she is not from Enfield, and wasn’t familiar with the area. Valenzuela also knew that some people may not be familiar with Guatemalan food, but then she said she thought “It’s pizza, everybody loves pizza.”

Valenzuela shared people supported the business when they opened, and soon more people kept coming back to try new foods aside from their pizza. “We have gotten a lot of good feedback,” Valenzuela said. “Customers have said to me they love the food and it’s different from what they’ve tried before. It’s important to show a part of who I am and introduce people to something new, there’s not a lot of places that have Guatemalan food and breads nearby, so we thought on bringing what we missed from Guatemala.”

Valenzuela’s goal for 2024 is to bring a lot more dine-ins since most of the business is takeout or delivery. She wants to show that Aurora’s Pizza has a nice and cozy atmosphere, as well as a beautiful outdoor space for the summer. Customers can bring their own bottle of wine, beer, whatever they prefer. “What makes me happy is seeing the same people come back every week or seeing their name on the ticket because I memorized names sometimes,” said Valenzuela. “That really means that they like it and they’re willing to support, which I’m grateful for.”

Aurora’s specializes in pizzas such as melanzana, margherita, Hawaiian, chicken a la vodka, meat lovers, veggie lover and the Aurora Supreme that includes chicken, ham, pepperoni, chorizo, onions, green and red peppers and serrano chili pepper. They also offer other dishes like platanos con crema, tacos dorados stuffed with sautéed shredded chicken and Guatemalan fries.

Most Guatemalan meals include jam-packed flavor from peppers and chilies, corn, beans and rice. “We stand out because of the Guatemalan twist that we have,” Valenzuela said. “It’s more of a Latin flavor. We are also the only place that sells pizza by the slice. We don’t use regular Italian sausage for our pizzas. We use spicy chorizo instead, so that makes our pizza stand out. But we are more than pizza, we have salads, bowls, breakfast and grinders.”

AURORA’S PIZZA IS OPEN MONDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY AND FRIDAY FROM 10:30 A.M.- 8 P.M., SATURDAYS FROM 12-8 P.M. AND SUNDAYS FROM 11 A.M.- 8 P.M. VISIT THEIR WEBSITE AT WWW.

Share this: