What used to be Mom’s Bake At Home Pizza is now Bob’s Pizza. Not only does it have a new name, but it has a fresh new look. But customers can expect their pizzas to be fresher than ever -- literally.
Bob Smith, owner of what is now Bob’s Pizza on 32 W. Eagle Road, made the official decision to break off from the Mom's franchise and change the name in June. This followed an early 2011 decision the pizzeria made decided to close their bakery in Manayunk and started delivering frozen bread.
Smith said he and some other Mom's franchise owners tried to convince the chain to open a different bakery to no avail. Frozen bread was substituted and while Smith said he tried to give it a chance, his customers weren't having it.
"I knew in my heart that it wasn't going to be a hit," he said. "But after three, four weeks of declining business, it became an easy decision to make."
Smith said he -- and several other Mom's Pizza franchise owners -- were against the frozen crust to begin with.
"We all bought into the fresh pizza business, we didn't buy into the frozen pizza business," he said, adding that only two of the nine Mom's stores will stay in the franchise. The rest, he added, will be breaking off on their own like he is.
Smith's history with Mom's pizza goes back several years before he owned his shop. He always enjoyed the pizza. And after his first two jobs didn't prove fulfilling -- one job as a teacher and another as an IT recruiter -- Smith saw the Havertown shop's 2003 sale as an opportunity.
From then on out, Smith worked to up the quality of the store.
"I put an emphasis on fresh ingredients," he said. "The previous owners offered canned vegitables but we went away from that immediately and offered fresh vegetables."
The store, he said, developed a much better reputation after a couple of years. And Smith said he intends to continue the store's success.
"I got tons of phone calls [when we carried the frozen bread], but unfortunately I just stopped getting my repeat business back," he said. "It was tough to serve that product that we were given."
But Smith said things are looking up since he started buying bread from an unnamed, local bakery.
"I'm getting thank you calls and emails on a weekly, if not daily, basis," he said. "It makes us happy to sell it again."