Born and raised in Staten Island, New York, Andrew Scudera has a story that starts out as most people in the restaurant industry share – starting from the ground up. Goodfella’s Brick Oven Pizza was born in 1992 and became Staten Island’s first Wood Fired brick oven pizza joint, which was only 2 blocks away from where Scudera grew up. “They won 2 national awards within their first 2 years which pushed the lines out the front door and around the corner. It looked like a place that I wanted to be a part of. I remember trying a few times to get a bus boy job there, but there were not any positions available. Every few weeks I would pop in and ask, and after a short amount of time, I finally scored a shift.”
“My first day on my busboy shift, I remember meeting Rudy Giuliani who was the fairly newly elected mayor of NYC. Rudy loved the Vodka Pie, which just won its 2nd National pizza title at the time. Here I was in this crazy busy and famous pizza place, and I am taking pictures with Rudy Giuliani on my first day. After just a few weeks I met Regis Philbin, John Franco, Tom Cruise, Danny Aiello, all stopping by for a slice of the Vodka Pie! I knew I was part of something special at Goodfella’s. But it was the pizza that was the best part of it all. It was unique, cutting edge, gourmet, and completely different from what any pizza joint was doing on Staten Island. Within 2 years, I took it upon myself to take a shift in each area of the restaurant; the kitchen, the pizza station, delivery driver, cashier, manager and eventually GM. I was learning the entire business, watching how each position played a key role in the entire operation. Soon after I became part of the corporate training team for the franchise company, helping to develop systems and controls as well as training material for the staff. I had the privilege to travel the country and teach people how to make our very unique style of pizza and I was only 20 years old.”
“Since then I have had the privilege of seeing hard work and long hours pay off. I have had the opportunity to become part owner of the place that launched my restaurant career. I have enjoyed the victory of winning the 2012 International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, which was something I have been trying to do ever since I started at Goodfella’s in 1994. I have had the opportunity to serve some of the most interesting and famous people in the world, catered on the presidential yacht, support my local city of Staten Island, especially my neighborhood Dongan Hills where my ancestors settled down after migrating from Italy in the early 1900’s. The pizza business has been very good to me, and is a deep passion of mine and has been for most of my life. Now I get to share that passion and teach the skill and the art to students around the globe. Our job is to create the foundation that our students can build upon. And I can honestly say the Pizza School of NY is the strongest “foundation builder” on the planet.