A father and a son from Shelton have opened a pizzeria in their hometown.

Outpost Pizza II at 888 Bridgeport Ave., in the Shelton Square Shopping Center next to Stop & Shop, is owned by Tom and Joe Dedovic.

Tom Dedovic, the father, has been in the restaurant business for more than four decades. He and his son Joe, a 1999 Shelton High School graduate, have operated the original Outpost Pizza in Stamford for 10 years.

They decided to expand with a new establishment closer to home. “We love our neighbors,” Tom Dedovic said.

The Dedovics credit their success in the business to their sauce and dough, with recipes that date back to the mid-1970s when Tom and his two brothers had pizza restaurants in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Tom Dedovic said making the best pizza requires using quality ingredients to produce their “secret sauce” and airy dough. The end result is a thin crust pizza, including hot oil versions.

Ribbon cutting

A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at Outpost Pizza II on Monday, attended by Mayor Mark Lauretti, Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce President Bill Purcell and other guests.

Lauretti, a former restaurateur, said “location” and “hard work” are keys to success in the food service business. “It’s a winning formula here,” Lauretti said. “We’ll help get the word out.”

Joe Dedovic used to work at one of Lauretti’s restaurants when he was younger.

Purcell said he is impressed with the renovations made by the Dedovics to the space previously occupied by Villa Pizza for many years. “You’ve done a beautiful job fixing up the place,” he said.

He noted that Outpost serves more than just pizza, with a menu that also includes appetizers, salads, wraps, sandwiches, grinders, burgers, pasta dinners, and fish and chips.

Purcell liked the clever names for the wraps, such as the Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin and Jackie Gleason. They are promoted on the menu as “The Wrap Pack & Friends.”

‘Positive feedback’

Joe Dedovic said the family already is getting “positive feedback” on their offerings in Shelton. “People are telling us, ‘This is great pizza.’ And that’s what gives us the motivation to work seven days a week,” he said.

Tom Dedovic said his focus has always been on the food and cleanliness, as well as interacting positively with customers. “Everything else comes after those,” he said.

He was born in the former Yugoslavia, coming to the United States when young and working in restaurants since being a youth. He originally went into the business in Brooklyn with his two brothers, who now run eateries in Florida and Michigan.

The Dedovics have lived in Shelton for 25 years. “We are excited to unite with our town and share our love for pizza,” Joe Dedovic said.

Purcell said they are a welcome addition to the Shelton business community. “You’re coming home,” he said. “We want to congratulate you and welcome you here.”

OutPost Pizza II is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. It offers dine-in and take-out.