Fresh Brothers is expanding quickly with 15 eateries, including recently opened locations in Laguna Niguel and Newport Mesa, and another three coming later this year. But it all started with the first location in Manhattan Beach in 2008, followed by Redondo Beach.
Adam Goldberg, who helped opened Fresh Brothers with his brother Scott and wife Debbie, said they’ve learned a lot from the South Bay.
“We learned we needed to be a big part of the community,” said Adam. “Pizza is a community food, kids love it, parents love it. It’s used for different reasons, whether its coming in and dining in or as a way of feeding the family through delivery or pick up. We look for communities similar to Manhattan or Redondo. Similarly, we’re always looking for those communities that are looking for a healthier choice.”
Scott added, “I think a lot of our growth out of the South Bay has been based on how we’ve worked with the people in the South Bay. This was our original base and we’ve taken a lot of the knowledge ... our customers have taught us how to expand how to become a bigger business.”
The birth of Fresh Brothers came from Adam and his wife’s desire to escape the long hours of their careers in the entertainment industry and spend more time as a family. Scott had run his own successful pizza business in Chicago called the Miller Pizza Company for more than two decades. Brother Michael later joined the company after the first location opened.
“After high school I bought a little pizza place in the neighborhood I lived in just outside Chicago and I built it up over the next 20 years or so,” recalled Scott. “In the late 2000s, Adam was here in Manhattan Beach and he called me up and said, ‘I would love to get into the pizza business. I got some great ideas to take your recipes and take them from Chicago to California.’”
They prepared to open the original Fresh Brothers on June 22, 2008, with a simple menu of pizza, salad and wings, using Scott’s recipes that are made with the freshest and highest quality ingredients. But they ran into a snag a few days before the official opening when a mailer they sent out had the wrong opening day.
“We both come from a background where you never say no to anybody,” Adam said. “So instead of saying, ‘sorry we’re closed,’ we actually had three pans here that we were playing with because we were waiting for our shipment of pans. We didn’t have our boxes yet. Scott was making pizzas in the back. I was cutting them and putting them in tinfoil. Literally we were delivering samples of our pizza to those who called us. There were 15 customers the first night that we brought a slice of pizza. ‘Hey, we’re really sorry this shouldn’t have happened, but here’s a slice of our pizza.’”
By the end of 2016, they will have five locations in Orange County, 12 in Los Angeles and one in San Diego. Next year will be another year of growth, according to Adam. The brothers said the focus on the product and staying true to Scott’s recipes has helped their continued growth as they expand to San Diego later this year.
Scott has continued to add to the menu over the years, with meatball sliders and fresh knots, twisted garlic bread dusted with Parmesan cheese with pizza sauce on the side, becoming popular appetizers. He also added more salad options as well as gluten free and vegan items.
“We tweaked our stuff to make sure we’re GMO free as much as possible to make sure that we’re on the cutting edge of healthier options,” Scott said.
Adam added, “As we look to add new products to add to the menu, we need to make sure we keep that standard ... it’s important that we bake, we never fry. If we add a product that has any protein, we want to make sure it’s gluten free.”
Fresh Brothers, with more than 550 employees throughout its company, also gives back to communities, especially the schools, where they do business.
For more information, visit freshbrothers.com.