Meet José Antonio Rosa, owner of ‘Liberty Square Pizza & Restaurant’ in Phoenixville
The United States has given Rosa what he has, but is thankful to God for everything.
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From a Greek family to a Salvadorian family, the owner of Liberty Square Pizza & Restaurant, José Antonio Rosa, is thankful to God for everything he has.
"When I arrived at my restaurant five years ago, I had to learn a new style of pizza. I only knew the Italian style but didn't want to change anything that was already here. The Greek-style pizza flourished and customers already loved what was here," owner José Antonio Rosa said in an interview with AL DÍA.
Rosa arrived in Brooklyn, New York City from San Sebastián, San Vicente, El Salvador, in 1989. In NYC, he learned to make Italian cuisine, the Italian and English language and American culture over time.
Rosa is very thankful for all those who opened their doors when he arrived in NYC. He knows that there are a lot of good people in this country. Yet, he believes that when there is an opportunity, one has to take it, fight for it and be grateful that it is there when it is there.
"I spoke basic English when I first arrived. Yet every night, I studied English and the culture. Everything good must be learned. In Spanish-speaking countries, we don't greet each other, say thank you, ask how someone is doing or ask persimmon to leave the dining table. We must learn these things because it is not bad and will build us to be better people," Rosa said. "One must also learn and realize that one cannot do everything alone. God will push one the farthest one can go."
In 1992, Rosa arrived in Phoenixville, PA, where his restaurant, 'Liberty Square Pizza & Restaurant,’ is located today. His journey occurred thanks to the pizza shop owner he worked for in Brooklyn, who brought him and a few Italian colleagues to Phoenixville to work in the pizza shop that belonged to his ex-employer.
Since then, he has seen the town grow from an English-speaking-only town to a city that gives opportunities to anyone who speaks any language.
Rosa with his brother Jorge Antonio Rosa, daughter and other work colleagues, celebrated five years of running Liberty Square Pizza in December.
"I came to this country to do something for my family, the motive of all immigrants. I've always been at pizza shops and when my brother bought his pizzeria, I started to work with him. Everything costs but one must have faith. The next day you never know if it will be there but you must fight for the family. We all work together here and we are all chefs. We all help each other and we all know how to do everything. Here, we are a team. We put ourselves forward and thank God who has blessed us to be here in this country,” Chef Jorge Antonio Rosa said.
Rosa met his wife in Pennsylvania and has been married for 23 years.
"My wife doesn't get involved in the restaurant but has always been by my side supporting me. From her job, she knew the original owners of Liberty Square Pizza & Restaurant and that is how I was able to have contact with the original owners,” Rosa said.
Rosa is very thankful for everything he has and thanks the United States for giving him the welcome he received.
Rosa has tried to leave Phoenixville many times, yet he says it is his home.
"Every time I have left Phoenixville and come back home driving through Valley Forge Park, I am so happy I know I am coming back home,” he said.
Rosa suggests that anyone who wants to start a business must have faith and desire.
"God knows where He wants to have you. I was wanted at a pizza shop, so here I am, fulfilling where I am wanted. This is a country of opportunity and thank God that it exists. Nothing is impossible. Yet be grateful for whatever that is given to you," Rosa noted.