Rapid growth has always been the goal at Fresh Brothers, which Adam and Debbie Goldberg launched with a single store in Manhattan Beach, California, in 2008 and now includes 14 Los Angeles-area locations, with more on the way. Adam will talk about the career change that got them into pizza and a growth model that responds to current trends in the industry during his Wednesday keynote at Pizza Expo.
Pizza Expo: What convinced you in 2008 to switch careers from being a successful director of photography in network television to being a start-up in the pizzeria business?
Adam Goldberg: I wanted to take control of my life. Although the entertainment industry was sexy and fun, I grew tired of corporate suits who dictated my vision at the expense of my family life. Starting Fresh Brothers gave me an opportunity to work toward a goal of being my own boss, controlling my destiny and spending more time with my wife and children.
PE: Who taught you how to make a pizza?
AG: I grew up in my brother Scott’s pizza place just outside of Chicago. He taught me how to make dough, shred cheese and satisfy a community by feeding them an outstanding product. Although I spent 15 years in the entertainment business, I never lost my love for making pizza.
PE: How much time — and how many business plans — did you go through refining your concept? What were the elements that made the concept click into place?
AG: I have no concept of time. A business plan, like life, is a computer program that never leaves beta testing. John Lennon said: “Change with your music, or your music will change without you.” You are always changing and adapting based on feedback. The only element that I see as the root of my success is hard work.
PE: What was the key to getting proper financing? Did it get easier to finance as you grew from one to 14 locations?
AG: There are no easy answers to this question. It is a tap dance on a head of a pin. Each situation is unique unto itself.
PE: When you look back on the eight years you’ve been in business, what are the key building blocks of success?
AG: Hard work, family support and the unquenchable thirst for success. Fresh Brothers is a chain that is only as strong as its weakest link. Constancy is the iron-forged link that makes our chain impenetrable. Most people do not equate consistency and growth with fun. I do. The world of pizza is a world of joy. I embrace that joy.
PE: Pizza Expo attendees are going to get up early in Las Vegas to listen to your keynote. Why will they be happy they chose to sit in?
AG: I’m a humble guy with dreams and a story to tell. That story wakes me up each morning in anticipation of new challenges to meet. I hope that my story will inspire my audience as well.
PE: Sausage or pepperoni?
AG: The Fresh Brothers Miller Pizza Special will knock your socks off, man. Sausage, pepperoni, ham, bacon and ground beef. Enough said.
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