TORONTO — Pizza Nova’s friends, family and business associates gathered at Toronto’s Liberty Grand last night to commemorate the chain’s 50th birthday.
To start the festivities, Domenic Primucci (pictured), president, and son of the founder, Sam, presented a cheque to the Scarborough, Ont.-based Variety Village children’s charity for more than $76,000.
The money was raised during the pizza company’s 14th annual drive, which sees $1 from the sale of every $4.39 medium pepperoni pizza benefiting charity. “We are very proud that we are one of the largest donors to this group,” said Primucci, alluding to the $1.1 million that the company has raised after supporting the cause for 14 years. “I’d like to thank everyone for making a difference in a child’s life.”
Meanwhile, many dignitaries and friends were on hand to celebrate Pizza Nova’s anniversary. “Congratulations to the Primucci family and the family at large that Pizza Nova represents,” said Laura Albanese, provincial MP. “This is a company with heart; this is a family with heart.”
Later, Sam Primucci took to the stage to reminisce about the company’s game-changing reimaging. After resistance from employees and business associates across the board, Sam was gratified by one customer’s reaction to a new test sign. She said: “Before [Pizza Nova] was a chain, now it’s part of our community.” From there, the redesign was set in motion, and success was confirmed with a 100-per-cent increase in sales at the first remodelled store.
To cap off the celebration, the president lauded 11 of his staff who have served between 25 to 40 years with the company, awarding them with a trip for two to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. “We’ve had a lot of employees who have been with us for a very long time,” he said in a commemorative video shown at the celebration. “That has helped keep this a family business.”
And, that culture was evident last night at the family-filled event. “This isn’t only Sam who did this,” Sam reminded the audience. “We did it together.”