“Gourmet” pizza for $12: The giant Italian pizza arrives in Quebec

The world’s largest pizza producer, Italpizza, is moving to Quebec. The Italian giant is opening its first store in Canada, hoping to convince the whole country that it is possible to combine frozen food and gastronomy to offer quality at a reasonable price.

Italpizza is not a pizzeria. No food is prepared there and only two employees work in one branch. The owner of Italpizza Shop & Eat, the company’s Canadian branch, welcomed Le Journal to his Plaza Laval premises in front of a row of freezers.

Operations manager Line Bolduc, administrator Michel Parnaud and Italpizza Shop & Eat owner Andrea Primo Gennari officially open their first branch in Quebec on Tuesday.

The administrator Michel Parnaud, the operations manager Line Bolduc and the owner of Italpizza Shop & Eat Andrea Primo Gennari Photo Vincent Desbiens

“It is a concept that requires much less investment of money and time. Selling frozen pizzas helps address the labor shortage because we don’t need anyone in the kitchen. “It also allows us to keep our prices very low compared to other providers,” notes Andrea Primo Gennari.

When entering the “Pizzathèque”, the customer chooses between four toppings and two types of crust, Neapolitan or Roman. A service employee takes care of heating the buyer’s dish and in just a few minutes everything is ready to eat on site or at home.

Operations manager Line Bolduc, administrator Michel Parnaud and Italpizza Shop & Eat owner Andrea Primo Gennari officially open their first branch in Quebec on Tuesday.

Italpizza’s 5 cheese and meat pizzas are served in less than five minutes. Photo Vincent Desbiens

“We also have delivery agreements coming up with Uber Eats and Doordash,” points out the man at the helm of the Quebec food company Walcovit, known for its dairy-fed veal sausages sold at several retailers.

Freshness from overseas

All pizzas the company will sell in Quebec and Canada will be made in Modena, Italy, using fresh local products. According to the entrepreneur, who arrived in Quebec in 1985, it is this aspect that sets Italpizza apart from its low-cost competitors in supermarkets.

“All pizza dough needs to rise for 24 hours to get a fluffier consistency. Once filled, they are traditionally cooked in a wood-fired oven. You get a thick and crispy crust, but very light, like you find in large pizzerias. Quality food comes at a price…and it’s $12!”

Operations manager Line Bolduc, administrator Michel Parnaud and Italpizza Shop & Eat owner Andrea Primo Gennari officially open their first branch in Quebec on Tuesday.

According to Andrea Primo Gennari, pizza is a timeless dish that is unanimously loved around the world. For this reason, he is convinced of the success that awaits Italpizza in Canada. Photo Vincent Desbiens

The pizzas are then frozen and exported to 57 countries worldwide, including Canada. The company has “no interest” in setting up a factory in Quebec because it is impossible to maintain the same freshness by importing large quantities of Italian food.

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