Mike Acosta is sad that his relationship with Mobil, Viera Pizza and the Akram family will be coming to an end.
7-Eleven has bought the Mobil gas station at 5450 Stadium Parkway, which includes Viera Pizza and the adjacent car wash.
Acosta said that 7-Eleven plans to retain Acosta and his staff to continue to operate Viera Pizza.
“They (7-Eleven) definitely want to keep it up,’’ said Acosta, a 1995 graduate of Merritt Island High School and 1999 graduate of the University of Central Florida. “They want to promote me and my team. They’re one of the giants, and we’ll see what happens. I hope to keep what we have and ride it out.’’
During his tenure at Viera Pizza, which moved to its present location at Stadium Parkway in 2010, Acosta has established the Power of Pizza Charities or POP. The nonprofit has raised money for the Viera High School athletic department, Special Olympics of Brevard County and the Early Steps program. Road races have been a consistent source of money raised for the various charities.
“I’m excited about the power behind 7-Eleven that we wouldn’t have otherwise had,’’ Acosta said. “I’m not sure what’s going to happen. I know the landscape to a T. I want to make it my mission to keep as much as we can. Especially, for all the youth stuff. I’ll push to make it happen.’’
7-Eleven plans to put in a POS system. That will eliminate the hand-written and the punch-registered old-style system.
“I’m an optimist; we reap what we sow,’’ Acosta said. “We’ll put the work in to make it work. I know we can make it happen.’’
Ending his working relationship with Naweed Akram saddens Acosta.
“It’s been an amazing 16 years,’’ Acosta said. “The owner gave us a platform to work from, and we took it as far as we could every year. He saw our vision as well and made it a reality.’’
The Akram family sold the Mobil and the original site of Viera Pizza on the northwest corner of Murrell Road and Viera Boulevard two years ago to 7-Eleven.
“It’s been a good experience being here in the community and all the support we’ve received,” said Sarah Akram, the daughter of Naweed Akram. “Some other competition is coming into the area. So, we just figured it might be our time to take a little step back and let somebody else take the reigns.’’
Acosta’s hard work has been appreciated.
“Mike has taken it to a level that we couldn’t even imagine,’’ Akram said. “He is really great, everybody loves him and he is really such a hard worker.’’