After exceeding guests’ expectations at one of Miami’s most celebrated pizza restaurants for eight years, Klime and Anita Kovaceski, the founders of Crust, have done the unexpected: They’ve sold it.
The famed pizza power couple went public with the move on July 18. “After much thought, Anita and I have decided it is time to make a change that we feel is for the better—for us, our families, our employees and our beloved guests,” Klime said in a statement. “On July 1, we sold Crust. We wholeheartedly believe that the new owner and the entire Crust team who are staying on will continue to keep our legacy of great food and hospitality alive.”
Why are the Kovaceskis leaving now? Simply put, they need a break, Klime told PMQ. “I sold Crust because I haven’t taken a vacation for nine years—with one year of construction and eight years in business,” he said. “All these years, I locked the front door every time myself. That’s how I do business. Now between projects, I’ll try to have a real day or three off every several months, or even a thing called a vacation, once in several years.”
The Kovaceskis, both originally from Macedonia, were featured on the cover of PMQ Pizza Magazine’s April 2018 issue. “Crust embodies hospitality at its finest—the kind of place where everyone feels like a VIP, where problems find solutions before complaints clamor from disgruntled diners, where success looks deceptively simple,” PMQ reported at the time. “That is, until you scratch the surface of the duo’s genius and find that the devil is in the details.”
The Wall Street Journal dissected the Kovaceskis’ formula for success in a full-page story in 2017. Crust made Yelp’s nationwide list of the “Top 100 Places to Eat” in 2022 and 2023, in addition to numerous other national and state honors.
The Kovaceskis opened the upscale pizza concept in a former Sherwin-Williams paint store in June 2015, with Klime running the kitchen while Anita greeted every customer warmly at the door. “She treats people like they’re in her house and can charm anyone all day long,” Klime told PMQ in 2018.
In late 2020, the Kovaceskis opened a second concept, Crust2Go, with a focus on carryout. Klime said he will still own Crust2Go and has plans underway for new restaurant concepts.
Due to a confidentiality agreement, Klime can’t reveal the identity of Crust’s new owner. But he said the entire front-of-house and back-of-house staff remain on board, and Christmyrr (Chris) Maurice, who has been with the Crust team since its inception, has been promoted to general manager. “For the most part, the menu will carry on as is,” he added.
In his younger days in Macedonia, Klime worked as executive chef at a high-end hotel, where he served presidents and dignitaries. And who knows? Maybe he’ll return to his home country one day and pursue a new career. “So, 15 years from now I’ll be 78, and, just like Biden and Trump, I also want to be president,” he joked to PMQ. “I’ll run for president of Macedonia. Until then, in these next 15 years, I’m going be in the hospitality industry. It’s in my blood, and that’s what I have done all of my life.”