Even before senior Italian linguistics major Louis Andracchio, a regular customer at Fame’s Famous Pizza at the 12th Street Food Pad, steps up to the window to order, co-owners and brothers Feim and Jim Amzovski, began to prepare his food.
“I switch it up couple of times but they normally know exactly what I want,” Andracchio, who’s been coming to the stand for three years, said. “They already know I like spicy barbeque and spicy ranch slices.”
The brothers bought a truck and first established their stand in the food court on main campus in 1985. They were looking for a way to stand apart from others because everyone else only sold frozen pizza. They realized students wanted something fresh on-the-go, and with that in mind, the brothers began selling original fresh dough pizza.
“Because we were the only ones with the fresh dough, our line was non-stop,” Amzovski said. “We were offering something others didn’t.”
Feim, born in Macedonia, and Jim – born in Philadelphia – have been in the food business most of their lives. Their parents operated local factories and a vending truck in Center City for nearly 20 years. After the sudden death of their father at age of 53, the boys and their mother left to run the family food business themselves. In January 1996, the brothers moved from a truck across from where the Student Center now stands to their current location. They’ve served the Temple community for 28 years.
The Temple News talked with the brothers about their business’ history.
The Temple News: How did the name of your restaurant originate?
FEIM AMZOVSKI: Back in the day when we were offering fresh pizza, our lines were long. That’s what made my name to be so popular on the campus. Also, ‘fame’ means ‘hungry’ in Italian.
TTN: As brothers partnered in the same business, how do you split responsibilities?
JIM AMZOVSKI: I handle the books, the paperwork, and make pizza and [Feim] does everything else from ordering materials to helping taking the care of our customers.
TTN: What certifications are required to maintain your business?
FA: We have to take a training every five years and we both get re-certified. We try our very best to keep everything here clean and in order.
TTN: What is your relationship with students? Some have said you help them out when they forget money.
FA: Sometimes students forget or don’t have money. You want a slice and a soda? Don’t worry about it. They treat me well as steady customers and it doesn’t hurt for me to give them something back. It’s what I call loyalty.
TTN: What makes you stand out from vendors on this campus who sell similar food?
FA: We make our own dough and sauces. We also offer one of a kind buffalo, spicy ranch and spicy barbeque pizzas. We always being creative with what we serve and that’s what makes us unique.
TTN: Why don’t you have an official Facebook page?
FA: Word of mouth is how I run my business. It has been like this for 28 years. We just don’t have time going on a computer and listen to other people’s gossip. Customers are my social media, they’re the best ones!
Sergei Blair can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.