Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria was conceived in the mid-1980’s by two of the Bay Area’s East Coast transplants, Peter Cooperstein from Boston, and Mike Forster from upstate New York. They shared a mutual longing for the distinctive thin crisp-crust pizzas they’d grown up with back home, and set out on a quest to learn the secrets that made the pies from the famous pizzerias in New York, Connecticut, and Boston so distinctively delicious.
The pair soon discovered that their favorite pizzerias had something in common: a traditional domed brick oven. The 700 degree temperatures of the age-old stone hearths made thin crusts uniquely crispy, puffy, and slightly chewy. And when a pie’s ingredients were of the highest quality and freshness, the hot bricks melded the flavors together just right for a taste that was nothing short of perfection.
Mike and Peter returned to the West Coast inspired, and were excited to share their discovery with their fellow East Coast transplants. In 1987 they opened the first Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria in San Mateo, CA, and to their delight it became an instant success…not only with transplanted East-Coasters, but with everyone.
As Amici’s business began to grow and expand to new locations, it became clear that their original wood burning ovens were not up to the job. As well as having heat retention and deterioration issues, they were a poor fit for the environmentally conscious Bay Area. At the 2000 Pizza Expo in Las Vegas, Amici’s owners met Kurt Eickmeyer, Wood Stone VP of Sales and Marketing and were immediately impressed with his knowledge and understanding of their business needs. In 2000, Amici’s installed their first Wood Stone oven and have relied on them exclusively ever since. They now have 24 Wood Stone ovens installed in 11 of their 12 Bay Area locations.
“Wood Stone ovens are the sturdiest and best made anywhere in the world. The high dome/hearth burner designs allow for better convection, heat retention and faster, more even cooking. That in turn allows for a wider door which is another important factor when you have as many as 500 pizzas in and out of an oven in a single day.” Mike Forter, Owner