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La Pizza Week 2024: Discovering Lo Dico in St. Laurent

    It is La Pizza Week in Canada, presented by People Mover Technologies Inc.Saputo, and exclusive delivery platform sponsor DoorDash. The promotion continues until May 7 with over 500 restaurants nationwide taking part. 

    During La Pizza Week, participating restaurants are tasked with putting forth a limited-edition pizza crafted exclusively for the festival. It’s an opportunity for restaurants to push their culinary boundaries, ignite inspiration and foster teamwork in the kitchen. As chefs collaborate to brainstorm unique recipes and experiment with unconventional ingredients (especially those restaurants that don’t traditionally serve pizza!) creativity flourishes, leading to exciting creations that reflect the essence of each restaurant’s unique brand identity.

    Customers can then participate by trying these new and exciting pizza creations, sharing their experiences on social media, and voting for their favorites on www.lapizzaweek.com. They’ll also be able to rack up YUM points and redeem them for pizzas throughout the week-long event. Different ways to earn YUMS include signing up for La Pizza Week, voting for pizzas, tagging @LaPizzaWeek on Instagram and making a transaction on the festival’s website. Those with the most “YUMS” will then qualify to win DoorDash gift cards ranging from$100 to $500.

    La Pizza Week doesn’t stop at restaurant doors. For the third year in a row, La Pizza Week and DoorDash are joining forces to support local restaurants in growing their business – all while bringing the fun to even more customers. This is a testament to La Pizza Week’s commitment to meeting the evolving needs of its audience, enabling diners to enjoy their favorite pies from the comfort of their homes. As Na’eem Adam, Co-Founder of People Mover Technologies, Inc. explains, “while we’ve seen remarkable stories of growth and community engagement through La Pizza Week, a consistent highlight is the positive impact on local restaurants. Many have reported a significant uptick in orders, particularly through our partnership with DoorDash, which has enabled even wider reach and accessibility for our participating venues.”

    This year, for the first time, La Pizza Week is proud to partner with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. During the festival, restaurants will be encouraged to donate $ $1 per pizza sold to the cause, underscoring the power of the community in making a positive impact. This initiative adds a meaningful layer to the culinary celebration of pizza, enabling pizza lovers to support a charitable cause while savoring their favorite flavors.

    Lo Dico Pizzeria Primed for Franchising

    I always choose one participating restaurant to explore and this time around it was a new discovery, Lo Dico Pizzeria in St. Laurent. Owners Kailash and Anita Patel welcomed me to their Decarie Blvd. establishment.

    It only made sense to try their La Pizza Week special,  the Bacon Blaze Pepperoni, made with their in-house Lo Dico dough, a house-secret tomato sauce and topped with Milano pepperoni, crunchy bacon and fresh roasted red peppers under a rain of mozzarella Saputo cheese. It has a thin crush and was delicious. Kailash added a cherry coke, some chicken wings and fries to my selection. That was a nice treat. I brought half of the pizza back home and thanks to my trusty air fryer the crispy crunch was maintained.

    Kailash is a chartered real estate broker and he specializes in finding franchises for some of the big restaurant chains, as well as daycares, gas stations and other businesses.  Lo Dico first opened in 1987 in Repentigny, with a Johnny Lo Dico at the helm. He ran it for five years, using his grandmother’s recipes, and then sold it to an Italian family. They kept it going for another 20 years. When they wanted to find a new owner, Kailash got the call to assist. While he did secure an interested party, that individual ran into some problems and needed to walk away. At this point, Kailash saw great potential and purchased it himself.  That was in the fall of 2019.

    “I started to work on taking this brand and franchising it,” Kailash told me. “Well I started the wheels in motion and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.”

    With restaurants operating via take-out and delivery, with summer patios, during the lockdowns Kailash decided to relocate Lo Dico to St. Laurent.

    Wife Anita stepped in to help run the day-to-day operations. She oversees the growing menu and purchases all of the original ingredients as well. The location can seat 40 people inside and a large seasonal terrasse is quite popular. They have a literal “open door” policy with the bar next door, Damiano.  Some of their customers will order a drink and bring some food over from Lo Dico.

    The restaurant has now gotten into catering weddings, parties and events. They provide school pizza lunches and much more.

    While a tempting array of pizzas in four sizes remains the specialty, Kailash and Anita have so much else to choose from: salads, wings and nuggets, fried and roasted chicken,  club sandwiches, souvlaki (with great pita I am told), fish and chips, pasta, burgers, poutines and desserts (I was too full from my sampling to try any of them).  They have just introduced pizza by the slice, notably for the many students at the two nearby CEGEPs. For $5.95 you can get a slice of cheese or pepperoni with a soft drink.

    With Lo DIco gaining notice in St. Laurent, Kailash is ready to find franchisees. It looks like a terrific business model to me and I can thank La Pizza Week for this discovery.

    Lo Dico is located at 719 Boul. Decarie near De L’Église. It is open Monday to Thursday from 11:30 am to 9:30 pm, Friday from 11:30 am to 10:30 pm and Saturday from 4 pm to 9:30 pm. You can order online at www.lodico.ca or call 514-353-9999. For franchise information e-mail info@kailashpatel.com

    Mike Cohen

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