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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The History Of The Panzerotto Pizza Chain

Picture of an authentic Neapolitan Pizza Margh...Image via Wikipedia
By Adriana Noton

Pizzas are items that are made of flat oven cooked dough that is loaded with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheeses, and a wide array of meat and veggies. Though the meal originated in ancient Greece, pizza quickly became popular in other countries and is currently the most devoured foods on the planet. In the United States, several different kinds of pizza can be eaten based on the exact location you're in. For generations, east coast and west coast residents have been arguing over who's dish is made better. However for our friends up north, the family managed Panzerotto Pizza is the clear winner. And after learning the history of the Panzerotto Pizza chain, it is simple to see why this little franchise is so cherished.



Panzerotto styled pizza is sometimes referred to as a smaller doughier calzone. Mozzarella cheeses and tomatoes are the most popular ingredients but the dishes can also be stuffed with pepperoni, onions, and other items. The dish originated in Italy in the 40's but has become extremely popular in several Canadian cities.

The chain began in late 1976 with just one location in downtown Toronto. The small establishment, located at 501 Yonge St., was owned and operated by a chef named Alex Schiavone. Alex's cooking experience began in the early 50's when he worked as a gourmet chef.

He opened an Ontario Italian restaurant in 1969 and then spent a few years further honing his cooking skills. During this time, Alex began putting Panzerotto styled pizza on his menu. The recipe for Panzerotto pizza is a type of calzone native to a small Italian village.

The dish became a hit instantly with the customers in Ontario and they began demanding it in big quantities. In fact, it was so popular that the business's owner decided to sell the small Italian restaurant and opened one in Toronto that would sell the new dish predominantly.

Due to the style being unknown, the Panzerotto dish's sales were slow at first. However, it's supporters were eventually able to spread news of the tasty treat across Toronto and it won over most of its detractors. In 1980, Alex decided that he wanted to take full advantage of the success of his business. He began attracting some investors and, through franchises, began expanding his company.

The Panzerotto Pizza franchise has been very strong ever since then and Alex and his close family are still very involved in its running. There are currently over thirty Panzerottos located across Canada and the Northern Americas. And Alex and his children Frank, Joe, and Vito have over eighty years of combined experience among them and are crucial parts of the daily running of the headquarter and the various restaurant locations.

The company, as of mid 1995, was the very first to provide its customers with city wide delivery over the internet. Users, for the first time ever, were able to visit a website and order their favorite Panzerotto meals. By using high tech and modern technologies for the time, the orders were routed to a call center before being processed for delivery. The pizza chain is even still upgrading and evaluating their top notch customer service.

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