When you think of pizza, you think of friends, parties and everyone grabbing for the pie, at least if you're an ad guy you do. Even if you’re not in advertising, eating pizza is an American tradition, bringing families and friends together for good times and fun memories.
It’s no wonder then that the Goldberg family opened Fresh Brothers Pizza in Manhattan Beach in summer 2008 and have never looked back, expanding to five stores, including a shop in Marina del Rey, and more to come. Fresh Brothers Pizza husband and wife team Adam and Debbie Goldberg, along with Adam’s brother, Michael, and the Goldberg father, who handles their financial operations/headquarters in Chicago, operate this successful pizzeria.
And Fresh Brothers doesn't serve just any pizza. It offers Chicago pizza and gluten-free pizza, something that everyone can enjoy, even those with food allergies. Debbie explained that they chose to implement a gluten-free training program developed by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness so their staff can learn about it and inform customers.
Fresh Brothers Pizza now takes special precautions to prevent dust particles and airborne gluten in the cooler. This has allowed many children and families to enjoy a pizza meal together they might never have been able to before.
The Goldbergs use the highest grade cheese, and the best California tomatoes for their sauce in the special herb mix recipe they received from Scott, another Chicago-based Goldberg brother. Scott has run his successful Miller’s Pizza for more than 20 years in Gary, IN.
“We haven’t changed a thing from what my brother’s guy has created,” Adam proudly shared. “We also use the best meat products. Our sausage comes from a meatpacking plant in Chicago; we make our dough fresh daily, and make hundreds of pizzas.”
“[Fresh Brothers Pizza] tastes like Chicago pizza. Everything is nice and fresh. It doesn’t taste like every other California pizza. And me being a Chicago boy, I should know," said customer Carmen Mormino.
Both Adam and Debbie have a professional background in TV production, which they feel prepared them for the restaurant business.
“We knew in three months whether we’d make it or not. Coming from the entertainment industry, we knew this either hits or it doesn’t," Adam said.
Adam knows of which he speaks, having produced four hit MTV shows, Dismissed, Next, Exposed, and in his words, “the almighty” Date My Mom. He says his last five years in the TV business financed the launch of Fresh Brothers Pizza.
“I opened up my garage, called everyone I knew and said take what you want, get it [all his production equipment] out of here.” This all or nothing attitude has served him well in helping make the company a success.
Debbie’s TV background includes having produced television programming for Discovery and The Learning Channel.
“Debbie’s one of the best producers I’ve ever worked with and I knew if she was embarking on a new career, she was going to be proactive, think of different ways to promote the business, take advantage of social media and look at her business similar to producing a TV show," said Tara Sandler, executive producer and owner of Pie Town and Debbie’s mentor and former boss.
“She’s a really great person, fun to work with and that is really important," Sandler said.
As the female partner/mother who manages all their social media, traditional marketing and kids birthday parties, Debbie revealed that her nickname at her children’s school is “Mrs. Pizza.” Needless to say, her twins are very popular there.
Debbie’s motto is, “Life is too short not to go without eating pizza.” She said, “We love kids and our food appeals to moms. Our fresh kid’s special includes five vegetables crushed into the sauce and only a few kids have caught onto it.”
The Goldbergs know from personal experience that a night out with children requires entertainment to keep them occupied. Children’s programming is played nonstop on two TVs in every store (Calabasas has 20 plasma screens). Children are also given pizza dough to play with while adults enjoy a night out.
This focus on children has made their private pizza birthday parties a huge hit too. South Bay resident Kathryn Robinson recently threw a Fresh Brothers Pizza party for her son’s 5th birthday with 30 other 5-year-olds.
“I wanted to try something new, different and fun,” she said. “At 5, it’s neat to see him make something himself and eat it. Kids ate stuff their parents normally wouldn’t be able to get them to eat.”
Each birthday party includes children being given stickers to stick on pizza boxes; poking holes in pizza crust; making their own pizza crust; and decorating their own pizza and cupcake with frosting, M & Ms and gummy bears.
Fresh Brother Pizza has locations in Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Marina del Rey, Westlake Village and Calabasas, and one is opening in Beverly Hills in May.