Skip to main content

Obama heaps more praise on Punch Pizza owner in weekly address

  • Author:
  • Updated:

President Barack Obama once again lauded a Twin Cities pizza maker during his weekly address to the nation Saturday, part of his latest pitch to boost the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, the Star Tribune reports.

Soranno, who owns St. Paul-based Punch Pizza, caught the attention of Obama after he and his business partner, John Puckett, announced in December that they were raising the minimum wage at all of their eight Twin Cities locations to $10 per hour. Obama mentioned Punch Pizza in his State of the Union Address in January, which was attended by Sorrano and one of his employees.

In Saturday's address, Obama noted a letter he received a couple weeks ago from small business owner Yasmin Ibrahim, who was so inspired by Sorrano's actions that she decided to raise wages for her deli employees from $8 to $10 per hour by the end of the year. Ibrahim wrote that she was concerned about her employees' ability to survive on $8 an hour in New York City, where her business is based, the president noted.

“But here’s the thing – Yasmin isn’t just raising her employees’ wages because it’s the right thing to do," Obama said. "She’s doing it for the same reason John Soranno did. It makes good business sense.”

Ibrahim also plans on opening another deli this summer, Obama noted.

The president's latest push for an increase in the federal minimum wage comes about two weeks after Gov. Mark Dayton signed the state's $9.50 minimum wage into law.

CNN says House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) used his address Saturday defend the Republicans' record on small businesses and blamed Democrats for holding up legislation on the party's jobs bill.

Next Up

police tape

3 at trauma centers in critical condition after rural MN attack

Two victims and the alleged attacker are in critical condition.

grinch neighbor

Neighborhood 'grinch' sends letter to Burnsville family over holiday lights

A Burnsville family's holiday decorations were the subject of an anonymous complaint.


Anthropologie shutters Grand Avenue store, opening planned for Rosedale Center

The popular holiday shopping weekend marked the last for customers of the Grand Avenue store.

hospital, emergency room

Woman found on side of highway after hit-and-run

The 41-year-old was airlifted to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Jorden Nicole Borders

Charges: Minnesota woman tortured her kids, removed boy's blood

Warning: This story contains upsetting content.

first snow

Will narrow band of 6+ inches of snow hit Twin Cities Tuesday?

The NWS says a band of 6+ inches is looking likely. It's now a matter of where.


Siblings, ages 19 and 14, killed in crash on icy MN highway

The crash happened around 1:15 a.m. Saturday in Carlton County.

Nicholas Kraus

Man sentenced for fatally striking woman during Uptown protest

Nicholas Kraus, 36, of St. Paul drove into a protest in Uptown last year, killing Deona Marie Knajdek.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Fleeing suspect crashes into vehicle in Woodbury, 2 injured

The crash occurred Friday afternoon after a pursuit with Woodbury police.

Screen Shot 2022-11-26 at 2.34.44 PM

Yes, that's MN native Jenny Taft in a State Farm commercial

Jenny Taft got her broadcasting career started in Minneapolis in 2011.

crime scene tape - police tape

23-year-old woman critical after shooting in Plymouth

A 23-year-old woman was shot Friday night in Plymouth.

white Christmas

2 MN towns among most 'magical' winter locations in the country

The list was compiled by Trips Discover and published earlier this month.


Obama praises Marvin Windows

The president praised the Warroad, Minn., business for sparing workers from layoffs during a tough economy. "That’s how America was built," he said during a speech in Kansas.