Pizza Nova celebrated its 60th anniversary with close to 500 guests, franchisees, local politicians, and partners on April 25. The celebration was held at the new support office at 1260 Lawrence Ave East, in Scarborough, just four kilometres away from the chain’s first location. The event included photo booths, speeches, and a live performance of the 439 jingle.
“When we opened our first location at 2272 Lawrence Avenue East in Scarborough, we could never have imagined the journey would take us this far,” said Domenic Primucci, president of Pizza Nova. “Today, not only do we stand by our promise of providing traditional, quality food, we are privileged to be in the position to give back to the special community we have called home for over 60 years. I am so proud.”
In this exclusive interview, Domenic speaks to Franchise Canada about the day’s festivities and his reflections on 60 years in business.
Responses have been edited for length and clarity:
Congratulations on the 60-year milestone and new support centre! How will the new facility help support franchisees?
Our job in the franchising business is to support franchisees to help them grow, help them achieve what they want, and help them become successful in their small businesses. So this support centre provides assistance with hiring, market research, the real estate, and operations.
We also have our call centre that helps support because we answer the calls, we direct calls to our stores, and we also have a test and training kitchen, so franchisees can come here, do training sessions with our products, and help them meet our standard of craftmanship.
The brand opened its first location nearby on this very avenue. What does it mean to be back where the brand was built with this new support centre?
We looked at a number of spaces when we were developing our support centre. This space came up, and how fitting that it was on Lawrence Avenue! Just three-and-a-half kilometres to the east of us, is our original location—it’s still there. It just felt right that it was Lawrence Avenue, and it’s back to the beginning for our next chapter of Pizza Nova.
Why should prospective franchisees consider Pizza Nova?
They should consider Pizza Nova because we have a great foundation, we’ve been around for 60 years, have a great product, and great loyal customers. We do things that expect we’re going to give back to the community. We’re a family organization where we’re all friends. And it’s not just the Primucci family; Pizza Nova is part of our family. That’s what it’s all about. And you know what? We kind of think that, you know, we’re very fair with our franchisees and our people because it’s the people that make the company. That’s what it’s all about.
Speaking of family, Pizza Nova is a member of our CFA family. Why has membership with the CFA been important to Pizza Nova?
Because the CFA has their guidelines for membership and best practices, membership represents that we’ve always tried to be a good-standing company franchising world by being a member of the CFA.
What does Pizza Nova look for when onboarding new franchisees?
First and foremost, they need to love the food, as we all love the food, and they should have a passion for business. We want to see a passion for serving customers and serving people. We look for the passion to give back and provide a customer experience that they’ll always be talking about. When I go to various community events, customers say “I know this franchisee from this location, they’re wonderful!” That’s what we look for.
Can you tell us an important lesson you’ve learned from leading Pizza Nova through its 60th anniversary?
At the end of the day, you have to continue to coach and train your people. It doesn’t stop. Sometimes people think learning should be a one-time thing. It’s a constant coaching a training. Why? Because we want to continue to get better every single day. Going back to being in the support office, that’s how we support our franchisees.
What aspects of CFA membership do you recommend new members take advantage of?
There are many things that you can take advantage of at the CFA! There’s the expertise, the legal and marketing networks. What the CFA gives is the ability to connect, reach out, and get some guidance. That’s what it’s all about.