By David Colon
From the moment a patron walks in to Momma’s Boy in Wayne, New Jersey they are greeted by the sounds of sizzling burgers on the grill and the scent of greasy dishes being cooked. Paul Skiadas, the owner, can almost always be found in the kitchen flipping burgers and making sandwiches.
Momma’s Boy became a reality for Skiadas the moment he realized that he would be able to take his passion for cooking and turn it into a business.
When he was younger he looked for different ways to help his mother in the kitchen and has always had a desire to cook.“My mom would get so annoyed with me because I would never leave her alone while she cooked dinner, but she saw that I was really passionate about it and I think that’s what made it okay for her,” said Skiadas.
“One day, when I was about 12, I actually made my mom a bacon stuffed burger for dinner and she loved it,” he continued. “That was when she knew my passion was real.”
Eventually Skiadas started doing the same thing with his extended family. Whenever he slept over at his cousin’s house he would help his aunt cook dinner in the kitchen.
“As I got older my family pretty much nominated me as the official family cook and made me cook during barbeques and other family-orientated events,” he explained. “Besides the fact that my mom pushed me to go after my dreams, that’s where my passion for cooking came from, because I love my family and having them enjoy my food made me feel that much better about it.”
That was when he finally decided it was time to take his dream and turn it to a reality.
“I remember the day that I had finally saved up enough money to buy the location I wanted and something happened where I ended up needing more money and no one except for my mother wanted to help me,” explained Skiadas.
“That’s why I decided to name the restaurant Momma’s Boy,” he said. “Because not only am I a momma’s boy, but she was the one who helped make this happen.”
The restaurant opened in December of 2015 and began specializing in burgers and a variety of sandwiches. Though the exterior of the building is brown and round, the four-star restaurant boasts elevated ceilings with silver-grey seating that casts a shiny spell throughout the dining room. Skiadas’ business has become successful in the past year and they have expanded the menu options.
One of the most popular items is the Fat Pioneer, which is a sandwich with mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers and French fries topped with buffalo sauce.
“When we realized that everyone loved our burgers, we figured that we could do something different,” said Daniel Cooke, one of the restaurant’s cooks.
“For weeks we thought of different things to do but we couldn’t really figure it out and then it finally hit me—we could put together some of our items that are most popular with the William Paterson crowd, make it into a sandwich and call it the Fat Pioneer.”
At first Skiadas did not think Cooke’s idea would be successful. In fact, it took so long for someone to actually order the item that Skiadas considered taking it off the menu. Little by little though Cooke’s sandwich became increasingly popular, and more and more students started to order it.
“It caught me by a surprise when it became this popular. I know Paul had his doubts at first but now the people love it, especially the students from William Paterson University who come here all the time to get it,” explained Cooke. “It really makes me happy to know that the students enjoy it because I made it especially for them.”
Being one of the few family-owned restaurants in the area, Momma’s Boy has seen a lot of success. With his dedication to serve the community genuine food that will leave them fully satisfied, Skiadas’ business presents an alternative to the mainstream franchises in the community.