The opening of the Imperial Beach Filippi's Pizza Grotto happened to coincide with my son's third Birthday. Today would be a special day for celebrating with the family. I told my wife to bring the kids in the car and catch up with me. I hopped on my bike and pedaled from Oneonta and East Lane over to Palm and Third Ave. Lucky for me, I was first in line at 10:43am. I wanted to make this a special day and be the first official customer in the door. A few minutes later, the host; Michelle DePhilippis arrived in the parking lot. She walked up to us and graciously invited us to come in early. I congratulated her and her family for choosing Imperial Beach to set up their pizza grotto. I especially thanked her on behalf of families here in Imperial Beach. Filippi's of IB now offers another choice for families who wish to gather before or after a special event at a reasonable cost. The parking lot is freshly paved and marked with plenty of space. Palm and Third also offer side street parking. I'm confident even those spaces will be filled on those busy days when lines will form outside. The bright exterior colors of the Filippi's theme and logo cannot be missed when driving on Palm at Third. Walking inside reassures the customer that tradition and comfort never goes out of style. From the same style menu's to the themed red and white picnic table cloths to the bright red carpets and seats; you know you've arrived at Filippi's. Add the beautiful mural wall art and interior lattice designs to the setting and you could probably spend a few hours of quality time with yourself or a loved one. As for menu items, not much has changed, even the way the menus are printed. Even for prices, the large vegetarian pizza pie with fresh garlic was around $22.00. Consistency and family tradition are key factors for the ongoing success of the Filippi’s restaurant chain, with over 14 family run locations spread mostly throughout Southern California. With Filippi's in Imperial Beach, it should be considered one of the best case studies on how to identify changing needs and demographics of a community and how best to capitalize on fulfilling those needs. Oh, look over there, it's the Mayor of IB looking at a menu. Even he understands the importance of family values and encouraging family businesses to succeed in Imperial Beach. I went to shake his hand and told him that this was a very historic day for Imperial Beach families. He was very gracious and quietly stayed low keyed. Best of all, by investing in the local community of Imperial Beach, Filippi's has continued to maintain it's image of a locally owned and operated family oriented business that loves to serve young families. Kudo's to Filippi's and thanks again to the DePhilippis family. Acknowledgement and a job well done also goes to the City of Imperial Beach for helping the Filippi's business become a reality. Please show your support of local businesses by visiting. It shows true unity of family and community. And if you've never tried Filippi's, perhaps it's time to gather up the family and neighbors and take a walk. The beach is only one block away. Perhaps the best reason to visit: They make great tasting pizzas!