Sam Primucci Shortlisted in Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards


TORONTO — Sam Primucci has been shortlisted as one of 75 finalists for this year’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards. Inspired by the success of his well-known pizza restaurant chain, Pizza Nova, the recognition coincides with the 60th anniversary of the business he helped to start in 1963, 11 years after arriving to Canada.

Primucci immigrated to Canada in 1951 with his family at the age of 12. The family left their working farm in Palazzo San Gervasio, Italy and immigrated to Canada where they eventually settled in Toronto, boarding with fellow immigrants and working at an asphalt-mixing company. Seven months later, the family bought its first home.

Primucci endured many challenges integrating into the Canadian school system. An easy target, he was frequently bullied and his confidence was shattered. By age 14, he started working, delivering pizzas for a Toronto restaurant. Gaining confidence on the job, Primucci noticed the trend for deliveries, still new at that time, and the idea of a take-out pizza restaurant was born in his mind.

The first Pizza Nova location opened on May 12, 1963 — 11 years to the day after the Primucci family immigrated. The family worked to expand the business, creating hundreds of jobs and franchise opportunities along the way.

“It’s an honor to be recognized among such a diverse and inspiring group of people,” says Primucci. “Canada has been a land of opportunity and community for me. I’m grateful, too, that so many Canadians have chosen to join me in varying ways over the years in my passion for Italian food and culture. Grazie a tutti.”

Presented by Canadian Immigrant magazine, the awards program is also celebrating a milestone — its 15th anniversary in what has become Canada’s premier national awards program celebrating the inspiring achievements of immigrants.

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