Press "Enter" to skip to content

Pizza shop in Mount Penn reborn as health food restaurant

For Andrea Amato, eating healthy isn’t about settling for a soul-crushing diet deprived of flavor.

“Our idea of healthy is what we’re consuming, not how many calories something is or whether it fits into a certain diet,” Amato said. “It’s actually where the food is sourced, and what kind of food you’re putting in your body.”

A dream of running a restaurant with a fresh take on nutritious, real ingredients motivated the Amatos to convert their former shop, Frank’s Pizza, 2550 Perkiomen Ave., Mount Penn, into a new eatery.

In January, the Amatos debuted their concept — Fresh Frenchy’s, an upbeat breakfast and lunch spot serving sandwiches, salads, wraps, acai bowls and more.

“We try to use as much organic produce as we can…try and source as much as we can locally, and just use real food,” Andrea Amato said. “In a world of fake food, we keep it real. That’s our motto.”

Amato and her husband Francesco “Frenchy” Amato’s idea of good food isn’t some hollow mantra — switching to an organic, healthier diet may have saved Andrea Amato’s life.

About 13 years ago, Amato was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, a gene mutation that causes progressive weakness and loss of muscle.

“The specific kind I have breaks down the heart and lungs as well,” Amato said in a Facebook video. “I found my health declining rapidly.”

The job she had required an annual physical, and when the doctors wouldn’t sign off, she became unemployed.

At that time, Amato was suffering from depression, narcolepsy, heartburn, chronic pain, blood sugar problems and more, and was prescribed eight medications.

“It was a nightmare. I slept all the time. I was at the doctors every other week,” Amato said. “I truly thought I was going to die, despite being only in my early 30s.”

She said her experience changed when she stumbled upon a documentary on the Paleo movement, and the importance of eating clean, whole foods.

Desperate to improve her condition, Amato gave Paleo a try, and purged her household of processed food.

After one month, Amato noticed significant changes in her body and mind. After two months, she was able to wean herself off all her medications.

“I used to think foods that were labeled ‘diet’ or ‘low calorie’ were going to help me,” Amato said. “I was very wrong. Most of those foods are loaded with chemicals or fake sugars like aspartame.”

She said her husband got on board with Amato’s dietary shift and saw improvements in his health as well.

Knowing what eating healthier did for them, the Amatos hatched a plan to eventually create a restaurant that offers “fresh, better for you food,” Amato said.

“We always had two plans. It was either sell (Frank’s Pizza) and start over somewhere new, or transform,” Amato noted.

In mid-September, the Amatos put their plan in motion, closing Frank’s Pizza and renovating the shop.

Those renovations involved a shift toward a Zen ambiance, Amato said.

“On our walls, we put up a bunch of greenery, the space is filled with plants and flowers, positive quotations on the walls,” Amato said. “We just wanted a place where people could come in and feel relaxed.”

Fresh Frenchy's, formerly Frank's Pizza, has reopened as Fresh Frenchy's with a focus on healthier organic options at 2550 Perkiomen Avenue in Exeter Township. (BILL UHRICH - MEDIANEWS GROUP)
Fresh Frenchy’s, formerly Frank’s Pizza, has reopened as Fresh Frenchy’s with a focus on healthier organic options at 2550 Perkiomen Avenue in Exeter Township. (BILL UHRICH – MEDIANEWS GROUP)

The restaurant is café-style, serving breakfast items like Belgian waffles, tofu scramble burritos, egg sandwiches and avocado toast, as well as Frenchy’s take on lunch staples, including the buffalo gorgonzola chicken wrap, a summer berry salad and organic grass-fed burgers.

Many ingredients are sourced locally, Amato said, such as beef for the burgers.

“All of our beef comes from a single cow at a time from a farm in Hamburg,” Amato said. “All of the meat is butchered and processed in Mohnton, so everything is very local. When you eat the beef, you can know it came from one cow that was organic, grass fed.”

Frenchy’s food appears reasonably priced for the quality, with burgers and wraps offered for $9 to $10.

All breakfast items are served with fruit as a side, and all lunch items get a side salad, instead of the typical fries or hash browns.

Other popular items include a selection of smoothies and acai bowls, as well as vegan options and gluten-free baked goods prepared in a separate kitchen to avoid cross contamination.

“There’s nowhere else immediately local to us that has that type of items,” Amato said. “We’ve noticed a lot of teenagers coming in for the acai bowls, which is great to see that they’re eating healthier.”

Amato noted that in the beginning she and her husband were unsure if Fresh Frenchy’s would catch on in the area.

She said they were pleasantly surprised by the positive response.

“We’ve been supported very much in our local community,” Amato said. “There’s more people than you realize that are waking up to how much our food in the United States is being tainted and just filled with artificial dyes and flavors. You can’t even pronounce half the names on packages. I believe there is a mass awakening to that.”

She said people come in all the time and share stories about their own health journeys.

“It’s pretty awesome to hear that what you think is a small change, a change in what you eat, can have such a significant impact on the way you feel, everything,” Amato said.

Fresh Frenchy’s is open Tuesday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Fresh Frenchy's, formerly Frank's Pizza, has reopened as Fresh Frenchy's with a focus on healthier organic options at 2550 Perkiomen Avenue in Exeter Township. (BILL UHRICH - MEDIANEWS GROUP)
Fresh Frenchy’s, formerly Frank’s Pizza, has reopened as Fresh Frenchy’s with a focus on healthier organic options at 2550 Perkiomen Avenue in Exeter Township. (BILL UHRICH – MEDIANEWS GROUP)


Source: Berkshire mont

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply