We had the good fortune of connecting with Brian Ambat and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brian, what do you attribute your success to?
I think that the most important factor behind the success of Dough Dudes Pizza are the roles that my business partner and I play. Owning a business means that we have to put on many hats at anytime and we lean on each other to do it well. We’ve been best friends from a very young age and have watched each other grow into who we are today and with that, we understand that we each have our strengths and weaknesses that we often shuffle around to make sure that we are always trying to put our best foot forward. Our familiarity with each other’s work habits and work ethic keep us on top of one another so we’ve almost created this system of checks and balances that allows us to push ourselves. It’s almost everyone’s dream to be able to start up a business with their best friend and while there are constant challenges and hardships, the reward of being able to rise up and accept that challenge shows us that we are more than capable as business partners and best friends. Having a cool name like “Dough Dudes” helps a lot though.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
When I’m not tossing pizza dough or prepping in the kitchen I’m a Respiratory Therapist. Respiratory Therapists are one of the most essential members of the healthcare team and deal with the lungs. I started off as a Pathologist’s assistant at 18 years old and eventually became a lab assistant and phlebotomist in 2010 while going to school for Respiratory Therapy. I have always been involved in healthcare especially since I’m Filipino so shoutout to those Filipinos in healthcare (haha). The biggest challenge that Dough Dudes Pizza had to overcome was the Covid-19 lockdown of 2020. We had just started in the Fall of 2019 and as a young business we chose to quit our day jobs and pursue pizza 110%. After being in business for only 4 1/2 months, we decided that the most responsible thing to do was to close our pop-ups because the world was being locked down. My business partner and I returned to the medical field and just dreamed of pizza. It was a very tough decision after seeing all of the success we were producing, but the world left us with no choice. Healthcare workers were essential and much needed at the time. I worked at a children’s hospital for a little while and also did some travel assignments on the west coast. We were out of business for about 1 year until I came back to California and we decided that it was safe to open up again. During our hiatus, we would talk about pizza almost everyday and try to feed the hope that someday we would be open again. We really spoke Dough Dudes Pizza into existence and that’s how the business started. We would talk for hours about how we could formulate a plan to formulate another plan that would eventually lead us to opening. I’d love for everyone to know that we struggled to bring Dough Dudes Pizza back and if you love something you can’t just let it go. We have dealt with some of the worst possible situations and have always found an outcome that favors the business and if it doesn’t favor it, well, keep trying.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend was visiting from out of town I would have to go on a week long sports event binge with some stops at LA’s finest sights. Griffith Observatory, Malibu beaches with brunch, looking for our favorite celebrity stars at the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and maybe one day at Disneyland. The perfect day would be bouncing around breweries before a Dodger game. Boomtown Brewery, El Segundo, Three Weavers, Highland Park, Homage Brewing Arrow Lodge, and Crowns & Hops are probably my favorite that are based in that area. I like checking out a lot of Mom and Pop shops because everyone has such a unique story on how they got to where they are at now. If you couldn’t tell, I love beer and all things beer. I think it’s so much fun to learn the stories of brewing and their challenges in the beer scene. I’ve been following Crowns & Hops for sometime now and I love everything that they are about, truly changing the beer scene.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
A huge shoutout to my best friend and business partner, Andrew, because this business wouldn’t run without either of us. The dudes that constantly have to work with us: Delgado, Silva, Fernando and Fresko. We’ve also received so much help and support from the amazing Joyce. She’s the brush that allows us to paint this beautiful business of Dough Dudes Pizza. Of course, our parents and friends that have always been encouraging us since day one. Lastly, my wonderful girlfriend Diana. She has been extremely supportive of everything I do and she’s the only one that sees the work I do behind the scenes.