Roll the dough,
stretch the dough,
twirl it in the air.
Pour the sauce,
layer the toppings,
throw it in the oven.
Nothing compares to a delicious pizza, the overwhelming taste of cheese, sauce, and toppings all melted together on bread crust. Now, thanks to Campus Town's Piccolo Pronto, quality pizza is just a short walk away for students at The College of New Jersey. The Pronto, located below the Campus Town building One (behind the gym), is a different kind of pizza restaurant that offers customers personal pizzas as well as other pasta dishes and desserts. During this semester, the Entrepreneurship Club has paired with the Pronto for a couple of events this semester.
On Tuesday March 8th, the owner of Piccolo's, Fami, stopped by a club meeting to talk to members about how he got into the restaurant business, and how to stay motivated as an entrepreneur as well as give back to the community.
Fami began working at age 12, washing dishes at a local restaurant. It was then and there that he learned the value of hard work and how to learn everyday.
"Always learn from others, that's how you add value," Fami says. "Someone always has to listen to someone else. That's life."
Fami's dream was always to own a restaurant, and he showed his motivation the day he went to the bank for a loan. While initially denied, he sat there and fought for what he believed in for hours, talking to several different people.
He had a passion for what he wanted to do and he conveyed this to students, saying that it is passion and motivation that is the key to succeeding as an entrepreneur. Fami has opened Piccolo's restaurants in Ewing and Pennington, NJ, Langhorne, PA, and now at TCNJ although the Pennsylvania store did not work out in the long run.
"Why turn good money into bad money," Fami claims is the reason for the Langhorne store closing down.
Two words that he continued to reiterate were 'clarify' and 'verify,' stating that these two words will lead to proper management and efficiency in the workplace allowing the restaurants to thrive. As a result of clarifying and verifying, Fami has opened three successful restaurants with another one coming with a liquor license in Doylestown, PA.
Fami got the idea for the Pronto out in California, and he wanted to bring the idea out to New Jersey, believing that it was a good idea.
"If you put a brand out there and its good, people will come," Fami says.
As for the Pronto, Fami loves to use it as a way to give back to the community, hosting a 'Knead Out Hunger' event on Wednesday March 30th. Pizzas were given to customers in exchange for donations, and 100% of the donations were given to the Trenton Soup Kitchen. In total, the restaurant raised about $6,000 for the kitchen.
The Entrepreneurship Club wanted in on the action as a group of club members volunteered to help out during the day. Some group members advertised the event dressed as pizzas staring by the street while others talked to those waiting on line about what their donations mean and thanking customers for donating after the fact.
Additionally, the club was given the opportunity to create their own pizza to be added to a specialty menu and voted on for a potential addition to the actual menu moving forward. The club created, 'The Entrepreneur,' an innovative pizza that combines several different popular pizzas into one delicious pizza. The pizza contains penne chicken Alfredo with bacon bits and broccoli. After getting a chance to sample the pie, the club members knew they created something good.
The Entrepreneurship Club has been honored to work with Fami and Piccolo Pronto this semester, and looks forward to hopefully teaming up again sometime in the future.