“I have never been one to count the hours I put in here,” said Stan Miller, owner of World Famous Piezons Pizza and Pasta in Fulton.
“Frankly,” he added with a laugh, “it would be devastating to know just how much time is exchanged for so little pay. I just know what has to be done and I do it.”
Miller has been a small business owner since 1994 – a man with a passion for Italian cuisine and a firm belief that pizza is one of the greatest foods in the history of mankind.
His passion for cooking stems from a childhood spent in the kitchen.
“Growing up, my brothers and I spent some time in the kitchen with our mom and grandmother,” Miller said. “We all grew up feeling at home in the kitchen, and those ladies made it fun for us.”
Miller said after college he took a job as a pizza delivery driver and cook, just to make ends meet.
“I just worked as hard as I could and learned as much as possible while I was there,” he said, adding that he used his experience there to fuel the drive to his real goal: business ownership.
“I have always been interested in owning my own business and thought since I love to cook, I’d give opening my own small restaurant a shot,” he said. “Seventeen years later, I’m still trying my best to improve every dish.”
Miller said he couldn’t be happier with his career choice.
“The absolute best part of my job is hearing someone say to me, ‘That was the best pizza I have ever eaten,’” he said. He said he was fortunate to have both participated and placed in several pizza world championships, a privilege he said helps improve his business locally.
“Whenever I go somewhere that allows me to be among some of the best cooks in the world, I’m like a sponge soaking up everything I can,” he said. “It helps me create new dishes for the store and gives me a chance to see first-hand how others may cook the same thing in other parts of the country.”
Although Miller admitted that it’s presently a difficult time to be a “mom-and-pop” business owner, he wouldn’t deter those with dreams of running their own business from doing so. He said having the support of family and friends is important, as is having thick skin and a passion for the job.
“Pay your bills first and then pay yourself,” he advised. “Expect there to be some good times, but don’t let them go to your head. Slow times are around the corner and you have to be prepared or you will not be here to see the good times again.”
Miller called money management “key” to success as a small-business owner.
“My best advice to anyone who is following their dream is to never give up,” he said.
At a glance:
Name: World Famous Piezons Pizza and Pasta
Owner: Stan Miller
Address: 1305 South Adams Street, Fulton
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Employees: Five employees
Primary business: Italian food and catering
Facebook: Pie Zons