Grad Uses FIDM Education to Open Heirloom Pizzeria in LA
Born in Tel Aviv, Israel and raised in Los Angeles, Zoey Davidov earned an A.A. in Apparel Industry Management at FIDM in 2016 before moving to New York City, where she worked for companies such as Tiffany & Co., Scotch & Soda, and PJCP. Upon returning to Los Angeles to be with her family during the pandemic, Zoey and her chef boyfriend began experimenting with making the perfect pizza at home. After a painstaking research period, the couple knew they had to share their handmade recipe. The result is Heirloom Pizzeria, a pescatarian, vegetarian, and vegan artisan pizza shop on LA’s famed Melrose Avenue. We chatted with Zoey to learn more about her journey from the fashion industry to the restaurant world.
How did you hear about FIDM? What was your path to college like? I heard about FIDM when I was in seventh grade. As a student that was also highly motivated to go to college at an early age, I researched fashion schools in New York City, which is what I had dreamt of since I was little. Because I am so close to my family I wanted a backup that was nearby and found FIDM. After touring the campus I fell in love and decided to apply without considering any New York City options.
What are some of your favorite FIDM memories? My favorite memories include engaging in conversations with my professors about their experiences in the fashion industry. Professors Grayson, Hoover, Colonomos, Dea, and Peters gave incredible insight to their diverse endeavors.
How did FIDM help prepare you for the industry? I was able to participate in many internships due to my education at FIDM and learn from real-world experiences. Through these internships I made the connections I needed to continue on in my career with paid opportunities.
What have you been up to since graduating from FIDM? Since graduating from FIDM in 2016, I transferred to LIM College in New York City and worked at Tiffany & Co. During my time there, I interned for Fabscrap, Scotch & Soda, and PJCP. When the pandemic hit, I moved back home to be with my family in Los Angeles, met my current boyfriend, and started our pizzeria business together.
What's it been like making a big transition into the food space? Being new to the restaurant industry was scary at first, but then I realized that my education from FIDM's Apparel Industry Management major gave me all the tools I needed to start any type of business. Ownership and Finance class helped me write my financial projections, Marketing class prepared me for the outreach I am doing for the restaurant, and the most fun was getting to design the actual space.
What has your pizza education been like? My boyfriend and I spent countless hours for eight months watching every YouTube video there is on pizza and teaching ourselves how to make different recipes before we took everything we learned to develop our own. The obsessiveness to make something that we are proud of sharing is what led us to tweak by the ounce.
What are your ultimate goals with Heirloom Pizzeria? To give Los Angeles a pizza we can be proud of. I want everyone who walks in the door to feel at home — and everyone who orders via delivery to be excited when their pizza arrives.
Anything else you'd like to share? We did not have any savings coming into this dream. All it took was one pizza coming out of the oven right for us to know that we had to share it with the world. Anything is possible with the right drive, and a career change of any kind should not scare anyone from making their dreams a reality.
Learn more Heirloom Pizzeria online at heirloom-pizzeria.com and on Instagram @heirloompizzeria.