By Mary O’KEEFE
On Friday, Fresh Brothers will be hosting its grand opening, continuing the pizza legacy set by Georgee’s Pizza at 720 Foothill Blvd. in La Cañada.
Scott Goldberg, Fresh Brothers pizza co-founder, said the company looks for a strong community-based location with good family values when choosing where to open their restaurants.
He said they of course look at a population that can support the business but community involvement is their primary key to opening.
“When I first came to La Cañada I fell in love with it,” he said. “It felt like I was back home.”
Goldberg is from suburban areas of Chicago and Indiana. He started working at a pizza place when he was 18 years old. The owner of the restaurant told Goldberg he was going to sell the pizza place.
“I asked my dad to [invest] my first year of college tuition to buy the pizza [place],” he said. “We still own it today.”
Goldberg’s brothers found a place in Manhattan Beach and asked if he would come and help them set it up. He traveled to California and they opened that Fresh Brothers, then they traveled to Redondo Beach where they opened their second one.
“But I was always fascinated with Hollywood,” Goldberg said.
Goldberg lived in Indiana at that time. It wasn’t really about having a dream of becoming an actor, he just loved the idea of Hollywood. He told his brothers if they could find a store in Hollywood he would move to California. His brother found a Hollywood location and Goldberg, true to his word, moved to California.
Hollywood was their ninth store; La Cañada is store number 22.
It’s a real hands-on business with Goldberg working at the new restaurants for weeks to make sure that not only everything works but that his employees get a sense of their community and family-friendly philosophy.
“It has been a lot of fun growing this [business] with each new community, teaching our staff and managers,” he added. “The employees hear me tell a story or see me holding a 2-year-old while Mom is having lunch.”
He said the community of La Cañada Flintridge and the Crescenta Valley feel like his small mid-western town.
“And these kids [his employees] are fantastic,” he said. “They are dedicated to their jobs and it really feels good to see them [here].”