Meet Adam Duff! Adam is the owner and operator of Pizza Box along with his wife Kelley. Located at 9th & Central, Pizza Box has quickly become the local favorite in DTSP. Specializing in wood-fired pizzas in a kick-back relaxed setting, Adam and Kelley have seen their business soar since opening in April 2016. ”We are so fortunate to live in a city that supports all artists and we are so appreciative that our craft has received so much love & support.”
Adam and Kelley are both St. Pete born and raised. They lived in New Hampshire a few years ago to help run a historic inn with some friends. While there, they started a small pizzeria at the Inn. They built everything: the tables, oven and an outdoor area. Adam and Kelley were the managers and ran the day to day operations for the pizzeria: they ran the whole show. After family obligations called them back to St. Pete, they decided to open their own pizzeria in the ‘Burg so they could be close to the people they love. They designed & built Pizza Box with the idea of giving back to our community and paying tribute to their family and friends who made their dream possible. They have a family tree wall and menu items named after their amazing family members. Their pizzeria hosts local art shows to give back to community and to honors the original artistic vision of st Pete.
Question: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
Answer: “I was trying out new things. The BP oil spill back in 2010 had a bad effect on my landscaping business. I only had big apartment building accounts & the oil spill raised my operating expenses so that it made it difficult to turn a profit. So I wanted to try new things. I met Kelley at The Chattaway & her friend introduced me to the pizza industry. From there I became interested in making pizza with wood fire. We helped build a pizzeria in New Hampshire which helped pave the way for Pizza Box.”
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in DTSP, and what do you love there?
A: “El Cap on 4th street. It is a St. Pete original. It is family owned & has been around for over 50 years & is also located in the neighborhood I grew up in. I love the cheeseburger & fries with grilled onions. Brick & Mortar is my favorite new restaurant.”
Q: How long have you lived or worked in DTSP?
A: “Since the year of my birth, 1982. I am St. Pete born & raised!”
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in DTSP?
A: “ Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon. Dan was originally from England but lived in St. Pete for a bit. He was very approachable, easy to talk to, had some interesting stories & had an awesome personality. He was just a real character. He is certainly missed.”
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: “Costa Rica. I love tropical designations. Between the beaches, the jungle & rain forest, it is definitely a must-visit.”
Q: What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theater?
A: “’Back to the Future’ is the first movie I remember seeing. Great flick.”
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: “Be yourself & ask for forgiveness, not permission.”
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: “To win a golf tournament. I just started playing golf 2 years ago & have come a long way & dropped my score a lot. I also joined the Lakewood Country Club. I love golf.”
Q: What is your favorite music/ 3 bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?
A: “My favorite band is Nine Inch Nails. Three bands I would like to see are Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin & Slipknot.”
Q: What current / former local business makes you the most nostalgic about DTSP?
A: “Definitely Sunken Gardens. I love the flamingos. They are such a cool feature.”
Q: Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where in DTSP would you have lunch?
A: “Albert Einstein. I have always been interested in science & I feel he would be a fascinating person to discuss science with. He seemed to have had a good understanding of the world. We would have lunch at Bodega.”
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about DTSP?
A: “I love that St. Pete is so artistic. We have a thriving artist community here & I hope it continues to grow. The artists bring a lot of culture & color to the community.”
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
A: “ My grandfather was an inventor. I would like to get to a point in my business that I can step away & pursue other interests, like coming up with new inventions.”
Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: “That I play golf. A lot of my friends are not aware of my mean golf game. I think I would surprise a lot of people.”
Q: What 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: “Lucky, blessed & fortunate (because St. Pete is so sunny).”
Q: Who would you like to see nominated for this project, The Faces of DTSP?
A: “Marianne Wysocki. She is a local Gulfport artist who is a friend and family member who has been creating amazing Florida art for years and is super involved in the artistic community. She currently has pieces in multiple shows at the Morean art center.”
Q: If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?
A: “Jessica Biel, without a doubt!”
Q: If you had a full time staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose? Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny?
A: “Well it is not on your list, but I would prefer a general manager of Pizza Box. That would make my life easier.”
The Faces of Downtown St. Pete was created to showcase the diverse community we live in & the wonderful people that make it so special. If you would like to nominate someone interesting for this project, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org