Meet the General Manager: Tom Harris, Fresh Brothers, Redondo Beach

Tom Harris, Manager of Fresh Brothers Redondo Beach

I will be writing a series blog posts to introduce you to some of our employees. This is the first of the series. If you are a fan of Fresh Brothers, you know that we are obsessed with customer service. We want you to be happy and to thoroughly enjoy your experience with our business. Each of the employees featured in this blog series are shining stars in our constellation of incredible employees.

Meet Tom Harris. Tom is the General Manager of Fresh Brothers in Redondo Beach. If you are a customer at that store, you’ve probably met him working behind the counter or perhaps delivering your pizza. We pride ourselves on stellar customer service, and Tom exemplifies that principle.

Where are you originally from and how did you end up in California?
I grew up in Pennsylvania and went to school at the University of Arizona where I majored in Finance, graduating in 2002 and being in Tucson there were not a lot of jobs in that field available; so one day a friend and I decided to head west for LA.

What did you do for work before coming to Fresh Brothers?
I worked as an Account Manager in Fleet Services for small to mid size companies for a major rental car company.

How did you end up working at Fresh Brothers?
After leaving my previous position I was traveling and working part time as a bartender. Then a friend who was driving for the Manhattan Beach Fresh Brothers said there was a good opportunity to drive for the new store in Redondo Beach and earn some extra cash for my travels. I really liked the pizza, noticed how hard the owners worked and what a great business it was offering wonderful food and great service. I expressed my interest in becoming a part of the company informing the owners about my experience in the industry along with my management and customer service training; so next thing I knew I was a manager here.

How do you feel you set yourself apart with customer service?
By taking the time to listen to our customers to find out what they truly need and then working to find a solution for their order even if it means doing something we normally do not do for most orders.

How does the gluten-free menu add to your experience as a Manager?
I love it when someone comes in and tells me about not being able to eat pizza for years and finally because of what we offer they are able to. Or when they tell me about there kids who are unable to eat pizza because of their allergies are so thankful to have found a place they can eat it. The parents have gone on to say how much a part of being a kid is eating pizza with friends and how hard it is normally watching their children miss out on those types of experiences.

Favorite pizza? Favorite item on the menu?
– Pizza – sausage and pep or Greek with Sausage. Menu item – always up for some Hot Wings.

What do you do when you aren’t working?
I love to travel and just about any out door activity I can do with my friends.

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26 Responses to Meet the General Manager: Tom Harris, Fresh Brothers, Redondo Beach

  1. Irene Turner says:

    I love that you are giving a face to your business. It makes it so much more appealing to frequent a place that feels local and real. Great business model, and great food.
    Happy Holiday’s to you and yours!

  2. Hi Debbie,
    Nice interview with Tom. You managed to cover enough of his interesting background that every reader can probably find something to relate to. We’ll see. I’ll share this post with one of my sisters, who lives near Redondo Beach. She’ll probably stop in one of these days, order a pizza, look for Tom, and enjoy a nice long chat about whatever caught her eye in your interview.

  3. Hi Robbie – Thank you for sharing with your sister. We have five locations – Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Marina Del Rey, Westlake and Calabasas. Hopefully one of them is close to her!

    Debbie

  4. I agree with Irene. Focusing on the people, your employees and the customers makes good sense.

  5. Very personable, makes me interested in learning more. Also, I applaud any establishment that offers gluten-free foods for people!

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer

  6. Julie Labes says:

    So nice to see a company treating their employees as people and not just as a number or a commodity and great idea to put a face to a company..makes it seem much more personal and real. If more companies did this, I think this country would be in much better shape..Thanks for sharing

  7. I for one am a consumer obsessed with customer service. More and more people are abandoning the big stores in search of well, humans! Thanks for sharing with us, your efforts to introduce your employees will certainly pay off! And so will the gluten free pizza, man I love pizza!

  8. How cool is that that you are highlighting your employees. That makes your company a step above most others . My good friend just left Rodondo Beach a week ago, but I bet he ate in your place a lot. He was a pizza kind of guy!

    Since I stopped eating wheat, I haven’t had pizza. Wish you guys were up in N. California! Why not open a branch here?

    Candace Davenport
    http://www.ourlittlebooks.com ~ Little Books with a Big Message

    • Hi Candace – Thanks for taking the time to comment on our blog. We’d like to be in Northern California and hope to be there at some point in the near future. We’ve opened 5 locations in two years. We’re working on a deal for store #6 and hope to announce that soon.

      The world has really changed within the last year for those who cannot eat wheat. Good ‘ol Betty Crocker started offering GF cake mixes! The Target near my house has a fairly large section of tasty and edible gluten-free food. Hopefully you can find a pizzeria near you that serves GF food. (Yelp is a great resource for this type of search.) One of my absolute favorite things to do is gluten-free tastings for Celiac Support groups. I’ve had people cry and hug me to thank us for serving gf pizza. (Not only is it gf, but it’s really tasty!)

      Also, we use a program called “GREAT” sponsored by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. (If you read my post about the Vegan Cheese, Daiya, you can learn more about it.) Our entire staff is trained on how to properly serve and make GF food. They have a website that promotes businesses that use this program. There’s gotta be one near you!

      — Debbie

  9. Donna McCord says:

    Sure wish you had a place here in the Bay Area! Love how you are introducing the whole team, it just adds to the comfort level of the consumer to feel as though they know the people that are providing them with the service or product they enjoy. I would love to do that for our business, too! Wonderful example of how to promote your business in a real and meaningful way.

  10. I wish you were in Utah too! I love pizza and if ever I get the chance I’ll be visiting a Fresh Brothers and trying the gluten free 🙂
    Louise Edington
    Facing Fears and Frontiers Over Fifty
    http://louiseedington.com

  11. lisawifemom says:

    I know from personal experience that you guys really do focus on service, and it’s great to share the employees that are giving that service with your customers. Fab idea, looking forward to meeting more employees.

    Maybe each featured employee could have a special pizza they create and is featured in their store for a week or month, or something like that; it’s always so much fun to hear, and taste, how people tweak their pizza.

    Love you guys!

    Lisa Vitale
    http://www.lisawifemom.wordpress.com

  12. Pat Zahn says:

    Wow, Redondo Beach brings me back to my childhoold when I spent many a day there…more and more pizza places are offering gluten-free fare, but not dairy-free. My hubby needs gluten-free, I need wheat-free and cow dairy-free. It also sounds like you add the personal touch that makes it so pleasant to dine out. Congrats!

    Pat Zahn, Photo Solutions Superhero

  13. Fiona Stolze says:

    This was great. It immediately makes me feel really open-minded about your business reading what your employees have to say. It adds such a personal touch. Great way to promote your company.

    Fiona Stolze
    http://fionastolze.wordpress.com

  14. Bruce Barone says:

    What a GREAT idea! To introduce us all to the employees. I LOVE it.

    And what a fascinating profile posted here. I even wish it was longer!

  15. What a great way to advertise you business and highlight your bright spots. I can use this strategy and a pizza.

    Lisa Ann Landry
    Vibrating Positive Energy to Unleash the Genie in All
    http://www.imagedevelopmentgroup.com/

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