Michael Overs opened his first Pizza Pizza store on New Year’s Eve in 1967. It was located at the corner of Parliament, and Wellesley Sts in Toronto and that store still exists today.
Michael Overs, Pizza Pizza’s Founder
Mr Overs grew up in The Beaches neighbourhood and began working full-time at 17. He was an entrepreneur and, a decade later, opened that first pizza shop in the Cabbagetown neighbourhood. In the early days, 90% of the business was delivery.
The founder, Michael Overs, was always thinking of innovations. One of those inventions was a pizza delivery bag. He worked with an upholsterer to design the pouch, and it’s believed to be one of the first insulated pizza delivery bags in the world. Who can forget their legendary old advertising jingle “967-11-11 call Pizza Pizza, hey, hey hey!”
His son-in-law, Paul Goddard, took over the company’s leadership as CEO when Mr Overs passed away in 2010.
Supporting Local & Canadian Businesses
Pizza Pizza locally sources its toppings. Their mozzarella cheese is made with 100% Canadian milk, and the wheat in their dough is also 100% Canadian. They also offer gluten-free and vegan options.
The company’s Slices for Smiles Foundation has raised over $3 million for the Children’s Miracle Network. During their spring campaign, customers can order a Smile Pizza and a portion of the proceeds are donated to support children’s hospitals across the country.
From its modest beginnings in the original 300 square-foot store, the company has grown to over 750 quick-service pizza stores. Both owned and franchised, they have more than 5,000 workers across Canada under the Pizza Pizza and Pizza 73 brands.
Pizza Pizza Photos
- Pizza Pizza
- Toronto Star: Michael Overs, 70: Everybody knew is pizza chain’s number
- Vintage Photos: City of Toronto Archives & Pizza Pizza Ltd (slides 1, 4, 7, 11)