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SPA Success Story


Public Affairs, School of
Kerwin Hall

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Public Affairs, School of
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Washington, DC 20016

Alumni Success Story

Alumnus Channels Entrepreneurial Spirit into Successful Pizza Chain

By Tyne Darke, SOC/BA’13

Adam Greenberg, Kogod/BSBA ’93, has quite a history with the D.C. area. He grew up here and, although he began his college experience at the University of Tampa, he was not gone for long. He knew that he wanted to get serious about his education, that AU was an excellent school, and that he wanted to establish his “adult life” in the area, so enrolling in AU and returning to the area was a logical decision.

Some may think of their adult lives as starting after graduation, but Adam’s began while he was still a student at AU. He was always entrepreneurial-minded, and while he was taking classes, he opened “Cone Zone,” an ice cream and yogurt shop. He directly applied the information he was learning in his business classes to the actual business he was starting. For example, Cone Zone’s first employee manual was created using what he learned in his Human Resource Management class.

After spending some years with Cone Zone and opening a second location, Adam got an idea. Potomac Pizza was located next to his shop, and he soon realized that people would eat pizza and then stop at Cone Zone for dessert. His hope was to open a duel pizza and ice cream parlor, but as Adam explains: “I wasn’t in the pizza business. I didn’t want to recreate the wheel.” Adam looked into various properties and was ultimately asked if he would be interested in buying Potomac Pizza. He decided to make the purchase, and he has since grown the restaurant into a successful chain with four shops in the area.

While Adam is very entrepreneurial, he understands the importance of community relations. He has been recognized for giving back to the community, including serving on Potomac’s Chamber of Commerce and organizing pizza-making classes for children. Last month, Adam hosted a pizza-making event for AU alumni and their families. To Adam, it was clear that being community-oriented was the way to go. Adam says his work with the Chamber of Commerce “showed that there’s more to a business than making money. Sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture.”

And what about current students who want to follow in Adam’s business-owner footsteps? He advises: “Whenever possible, study something that you love. If you study something that you love and that you’re passionate about, you’re going to learn that much more about it. You’re going to be that much more interested in it.” And that passion, Adam believes, helps AU students separate themselves from the pack.