60 Years Later, Pizza Nova Still Serving a Slice of Home

By Marlon Cortina

We all know the feeling. A long day at work. Nothing’s in the fridge. The thought of prepping vegetables or standing in front of a hot stove just sounds like too much.  Then, it comes to you – that magical number 439-0-0-0-0 (admit it, you just sang this in your head!)

Pizza Nova has been a staple in the pizza business since 1963, when brothers Mike, Vince and Sam Primucci opened their first restaurant in Scarborough, Ontario. Since then, the still family-owned premium pizza brand has grown to over 150 locations in Canada. They celebrated their 60-year anniversary milestone at their new Support Office, just down the road from their first restaurant location.

While the brand has grown, the values that were brought on by that very first location remain at the core of Pizza Nova’s operation. “First and foremost, it’s the passion for what we are doing and the passion to give great tasting pizza to all Torontonians and Canadians” said Dominic Primucci, President and son of Sam Primucci. “Also the people that have worked and are working for us. Without them we couldn’t have achieved anything over 60 years and our success is a testament to everybody.”

The Primucci family welcomed approximately 500 people to celebrate Pizza Nova’s anniversary and cut the ribbon on their brand new, state of the art 16,500 sq. ft. Support Centre and corporate headquarters to mark the next chapter for the storied franchise. Among the well-wishers and celebrants were officials from all levels of government, including Markham, ON Mayor Frank Scarpitti, Ontario Minister of Education Stephen Lecce and MP, the Honourable. Judy Sgro.

Pizza Nova celebrates the opening of its support office at its 60th anniversary celebration on April 25, 2023. From left to right: Lucas Primucci, Gemma Primucci, Sam Primucci, founder of Pizza Nova, Anna Primucci, Domenic Primucci, president of Pizza Nova. Photo credit: Montana Steele

The celebration also featured a live performance of Pizza Nova’s iconic 439 0-0-0-0 jingle by original artist Alfie Zappacosta, who led the crowd in a rousing sing-a-long. The performance flooded the audience with memories of family pizza night, birthday parties and post-game hockey celebrations.

Singer/songwriter Alfie Zappacosta performing the iconic Pizza Nova jingle on April 25, 2023. Photo credit: Marlon Cortina

While the day focused on looking back, Primucci is already looking ahead. “That’s why we built this new Support Centre.  It will allow us to grow in our communities and take our pizza to even more people,” he continues.  “This is where we began and we’ve been here ever since.  We’re still Scarborough in our blood, and in our base”.

Primucci doubled down on the importance of community, announcing a surprise $1 million donation to the Scarborough Health Network (SHN) Foundation.  This funding will help to create Toronto’s most innovative medical diagnostic imaging and vascular centre at the Scarborough General Hospital.

“SHN is the third largest hospital in Ontario and only receives one per cent of donations despite that Scarborough makes up 25 per cent of the population of Toronto,” Primucci told the crowd. He also announced that work has already started on the new diagnostic medical imaging and vascular centre, slated to open in Fall of 2024.  Primucci also spoke of the long-standing relationship with Variety, the Children’s Charity of Ontario, announcing that the That’s Amore campaign returns in May, donating 50 cents of every dip sold to the charity

Sam Primucci, founder of Pizza Nova, Domenic Primucci, president of Pizza Nova and the Primucci family present a $1 million donation to David Graham, CEO of Scarborough Health Network Foundation, April 25, 2023. Photo credit: Montana Steele

Pizza Nova patrons should also look forward to limited edition pizza boxes, a jingle remake contest and even exclusive 60th anniversary merchandise.

Pizza Nova provides a number of different pizzas to suit everyone’s tastes, but does Primucci himself have a go-to takeout order from Pizza Nova?  “I don’t have a go-to, I love them all!” he laughs. “But the classic pepperoni pizza is the one closest to my heart because it was one of the first pizzas I’ve had.  But of course, we also have new creations and new innovations like the Portobellisimo (Ontario-grown portobello mushrooms, hot soppressata and asiago cheese) and the Honey Stinger (hot soppressata and sun-dried black olives, drizzled with Mike’s Hot Honey) which I love as well”

The Portobellisimo and Honey Stinger Pizzas are some of Domenic Primucci’s favorite new pies

Finally, what is the President’s of one of the most successful and longest running brands in Canada take on one of pizza’s hotbed topics – pineapple. “I’m not a pineapple person” he quickly answers. “But it’s one of our best sellers!”