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Interview with the Pizza oven Dude

Taylor Dec 15th 2023

Fash is passionate about pizza. When he speaks of it, he uses terms like “symphony,” “masterpiece,” and “harmony.” His eyes light with excitement at the opportunity to discuss any facet of the pizza-making trade, which he’s been versed in for over 30 years. The pleasure Fash gains from his career radiates off him, infectiously so, and is largely the reason I chose to work for him.

During my second week at having gotten familiar with the duties of my position- I grew increasingly curious about its origin, and that of Italforni USA, the US flagship of the Italian-born company. While shadowing him as he performed various tasks, I discovered Fash has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. His first company, West Coast Gourmet Pizza, dates back to 1989 in Lexington, Kentucky; he realized his love for pizza-making a couple years prior, while working part-time in a friend’s pizza shop. 10 years after the inception of his gourmet pizza chain, with 6 restaurants in operation, Fash sold his company.

Inspiration for his next company found him while residing in England’s Lake District, pondering the logistics of opening another pizza parlor. This time, there was a major roadblock: he couldn’t find a streamlined means of supplying himself with the necessary commercial equipment. After some time searching, Fash realized his next venture: He purchased the domain name, learned the basics of coding, and built his own website. His second company was fashioned reminiscent of eBay, serving as a link between buyers and sellers in the commercial pizza equipment market.

Before launching in 2000, Fash relocated to Kentucky with the intention of getting his business up and running in the States. He became an authorized seller, started housing products in his home garage, and underwent technical training for Lincoln and Middleby ovens. Business boomed; the garage overflowed, so Fash rented a small warehouse for his collection of equipment. Soon he added service to his product offering, utilizing the technical training in his toolbelt to repair, maintain, and manufacture the equipment he was selling.

In 2015, Fash uprooted his company to Carson, California to launch his third endeavor, Italforni USA- the US flagship for Italforni Pesaro. Italforni USA was built from a relationship developed at one of many commercial equipment trade shows Fash attended. He recognized an opportunity to provide an innovative product to an untapped market, and seized it. 5 years later, Fash runs and Italforni USA from neighboring offices in the greater Los Angeles area. His eyes remain peeled for his next opportunity.