PETERBOROUGH — A new pizza parlor is up and running, with a familiar chef.

Pancho’s Pizza opened April 19 on Jaffrey Road in the space that formerly housed La Mia Casa, a pizzeria that closed last year.

R. Steven Venning of Bennington said he opened the new pizza joint in a partnership with his neighbor Pancho Ayala, the restaurant’s head chef.

Ayala previously cooked at La Mia Casa, which was operated by his adult children before they shut it down.

Venning said he always loved Ayala’s pizza, and the two decided to partner up and open Pancho’s Pizza. With a background in accounting and banking, Venning said this is an entirely new venture for him that’s both challenging and excited.

“We’ve heard that people enjoyed his pizzas, so we decided to bring them back and have some fun and enjoy serving people,” he said, adding that Ayala has more than 50 years experience as a chef.

For more information about Pancho’s Pizza, go to

Sierra Hubbard can be reached at 355-8546 or at Follow her on Twitter at @SierraHubbardKS.