EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — When Sam Mach came to East Peoria from Vietnam, he needed a way to make a living.
“I came here just to survive, not to climb anywhere in the world. But whatever God gives, I will work for it,” said Mach.
He got the chance to work at George’s Pizza for Fred George. He says George valued him as more than just an employee.
“Maybe he helped me because he saw something in me that he can depend on,” said Mach.
Eventually, the pizzeria closed, and now years later, Mach is opening his own pizza shop in tribute to the place he once worked.
“That place was where I learned how to make pizza, and learned how to eat, and learned how to speak English, learned how to answer the phone, roll the dough, and go from the bottom up,” said Mach.
He says the time was right, a space opened up in the Village Square Shopping Center that he owns.
Mach says Fred George always believed in him, even when Mach wasn’t sure of himself.
“When I said Fred, my English is not enough to take care of your business, he said ‘it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter. Just do it,” said Mach.
Now Mach says thanks to George’s help and kindness, he’s serving the East Peoria community with fresh pizza, while honoring his former mentor.
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