Owner of Randy’s Pizzeria Miranda Moussa prepares pizza toppings and salads on April 3, 2023. The small store has counter seating for individuals rather than table seating. (Frances Mack/B&W Staff)

Randy’s Pizzeria: Bethlehem’s one-woman show


Within a one-mile radius of Randy’s Pizzeria’s storefront, 12 other pizza restaurants call the streets of South Bethlehem home. Considering this competition, owner Miranda Moussa was determined to prove herself. 

On the corner of Webster and Mechanic streets sits the actualization of 29-year-old Moussa’s dreams: a female-owned, practically one-woman-show pizza joint. 

The intimate dining area features a few stools that line a window counter and three pizzas that sit on a marbled counter top — fewer than local competitors boast. Two staff members, one of whom is Moussa, stand behind the counter of the cozy corner restaurant. They prepare orders while greeting customers with warm smiles and enthusiastic conversation. 

Moussa said she strives to differentiate the restaurant from its competitors through her hospitality. 

“Cooking is just natural for me, it’s something I’ve always done, but I love to be able to build (relationships),” she said. “I want to see a phone number pop up and already know what you’re going to order.” 

For Moussa, the pizza industry is a way of life. She first began cooking at the age of 6 alongside her grandmother. 

Her father, Michael Moussa, has owned Rocco’s Pizza & Italian Restaurant in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, for more than 20 years.  

He did not expect any of his three children to continue in the food industry, understanding the long hours and the mental and physical strain it takes. Yet, when his daughter chose to do so, he knew it was what she was meant to do. 

“Miranda (Moussa) had the love of food right from the beginning,” Michael Moussa said. “It’s really the only thing she knows. That’s pretty much it. Food is what she loves.”

Born and raised in Easton, Pennsylvania, Miranda Moussa graduated from Easton Area High School in 2012 and furthered her education at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. 

After working in three different Michelin star restaurants — A Voce, Marea and The Musket Room — over the four years she spent living in New York City, she brought her professional expertise to her parents’ business in early 2020. 

In February 2020, she picked up a life-changing phone call: restaurant space was available in Bethlehem.

“I couldn’t not do it,” Miranda Moussa said. “This is my opportunity.” 

Four days after she purchased the space, COVID-19 safety precautions closed down restaurants. The shop did not fully open until September 2020, more than six months after it was initially purchased. 

She had plenty of time to brainstorm names for the new shop. Her parents and grandparents knew Miranda Moussa’s childhood nickname, Randy, was the best option.

“I want something easy,” she said. “These kids are going to say ‘Let’s go here!’ I felt like … kids would be cheering, ‘Let’s order Randy’s!’ And luckily, that’s been the case.” 

Having learned how to make pizza just a few months earlier, she saw the restaurant as a chance to prove herself to her family of experts. While her brothers monopolized pizza-making duties at their father’s shop, it was now her turn. 

Miranda Moussa celebrated the two-year anniversary of Randy’s on Sept. 8. 

Just one employee helps Miranda Moussa behind the counter. She said her do-it-yourself mindset made adapting to being an employer a daunting task. 

“I know what I want to produce, and I don’t think anyone else is going to produce it but me,” she said. “It’s important to me that I do it. I’m here all day, every day. I take every phone call, and the door doesn’t open or close without me doing it.”

Yet, she said the role has never felt repetitive.

Michael Moussa said loving food and cooking doesn’t necessarily make you successful. It takes more than that.

“I know what I do and I’m great at it and I’m fine with that, but not Miranda (Moussa),” he said. “Miranda (Moussa) knows how to experiment, to explore, to push the limits.”

When developing her business model, Miranda Moussa prioritized affordability. She said she hopes her low prices set her apart from other dining options in the area.

Randy’s charges $1.80 for a plain slice. Other local pizza places charge closer to $3. 

She also provides free delivery: a rare benefit that eliminates using costly third-party platforms like UberEats. 

“I make my own sauce, my own cheese, my own dough,” she said. “I do everything myself. All the shopping, picking up and distributing. If I could deliver it too, I would.” 

All ingredients are freshly and locally sourced. Every Thursday, an employee attends the Bethlehem Farmers’ Market to buy local produce for their inventory.

Evan Rehrig, Lehigh Dining marketing manager and a self-declared foodie, said he found Randy’s through a Facebook group dedicated to Lehigh Valley pizza shops. After Randy’s kept showing up as a recommendation, he knew he had to try it. 

“The first time I walked in, (Moussa) said ‘So how’d you hear about us?’” Rehrig said. “And I told her, and she thought it was awesome.”

The personalized touch Randy’s provides has kept Rehrig coming back ever since.

Rehrig said he has stopped by Randy’s after work on several occasions to take dinner home. Sometimes it’s a pizza, sometimes a cheesesteak, sometimes another specialty menu item. 

“It’s just really, really good quality, and she’s so friendly and approachable,” Rehrig said. “She really has a passion for what she’s doing.” 

Rehrig said he wants to see students exploring and supporting the local economy — especially smaller mom and pop shops.

Miranda Moussa said students are her favorite diners and a large portion of her customer base.

She said she has a passion for helping the local Bethlehem community.

Randy’s provides lunch for students at the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts once a week. Miranda Moussa said her parents’ restaurant also provided food for local students, so she was excited to do the same. 

Randy’s has also collaborated with local businesses such as Bonn Place Brewing Company and Seven Sirens Brewing Company. 

Michael Moussa said Randy’s greatest asset is Miranda Moussa herself because of her ability to balance her work ethic, culinary talents and connections to customers. 

Being able to witness the success of Randy’s has been rewarding for the father-daughter duo. 

“I’m not one to talk about myself, but I truly love what I do,” Miranda Moussa said. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

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