Milford Pizza has been owned by Angelo and Virginia Pappas since it opened in Airpark Plaza, 23 years ago. Although the restaurant business is in their blood, they too realized it is now time to enjoy their retirement just like many other Delawareans. Angelo and Virginia decided to sell the business to the new proud owners, Ms. Susan Rudeau and Mr. Eric Specht.
Mr. Specht said, “We moved here in March and in August we saw that Milford Pizza was for sale. I was instantly interested because my mother used to own a pizzeria called DeRosa’s in Bound Brook, New Jersey.” Mr. Eric Specht grew up with grandparents that spoke fluent Italian and every Friday was homemade pizza and pasta night. Eric Specht has learned a great deal from all his fellow friends that own their own restaurants and bakeries back in New Jersey.
Mr. Specht worked for 25 years in the Teamsters Union. He is a proud father of two, Nicole Specht and Eric Martin Specht. Although he enjoyed working with the teamsters, he loved coming home and cooking those delicious dinners for the children. Ms. Rudeau worked as an Art Director for a number of years back in New Jersey before becoming a proud mother of her only son, James Hardgrove.
Sue Rudeau prides herself in building the proper teams for a well run business. She said, “Teamwork is the recipe for a successful business. It takes time, but I will make sure it happens. There is no time for failure, just success.”
She built many teams when she worked in advertising, and her main goal is to build a strong team at Milford Pizza Restaurant. Customers will be treated well every time they walk in the door. There will be a completely new kitchen staff; Ms. Rudeau and Mr. Specht are currently teaching them the specific recipes that will be used under their new ownership.
Ms. Rudeau described that once they decided to purchase the restaurant, she spent time talking to people in the area about what they liked or did not like about going out to eat in Milford, Delaware. Her research proved that people were looking for delicious pizza and food, excellent customer service, as well as food delivery.
“Almost everything on our menu will be homemade,” Ms. Rudeau said. “We are keeping some of the old favorites, but the menu will be updated and made unique to what we want to be served. We are also moving toward local and fresh ingredients as much as possible.” Ms. Rudeau also stated that all salads will be made fresh to order and all soups are made from her own and some of her mother’s recipes. The pizza served will be New York brick oven style and the couple hopes to incorporate homemade breads in the future.
Eric Specht and Sue Rudeau, who were born and raised in Hillsborough, New Jersey, said they have known each other since the sixth grade. They say they are excited to learn more about Milford’s history and even hope to display some old photos all about Milford in the restaurant in order to create a new atmosphere.
Milford Pizza will close on December 30, 31 and January 1 so that they can do minor renovations, such as replacing carpet and painting. On Friday, January 2 the couple plans to do a “soft opening” testing their new menu items and working out the “kinks.” They hope to hold an official grand opening ribbon-cutting in early February.