Winnipeg inventor’s family brings original pizza pop out of the ice age

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It's back to the delicious future for a Winnipeg-born favourite that became famous in frozen food aisles from coast to coast.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 05/06/2018 (1581 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

It’s back to the delicious future for a Winnipeg-born favourite that became famous in frozen food aisles from coast to coast.

Paul’s Original Pizza Snack — stage name Pizza Pops — is mounting a comeback in its hometown thanks to Anthony Faraci, the great-nephew of the man who had his doughy eureka moment in 1964.

Faraci’s uncle Paul, who died in February at the age of 89, created the popular snack when he owned a burger restaurant on Sargent Avenue. They became so popular that he began selling them wholesale with the help of some business partners who later bought him out and sold the company to prepared food giant Pilsbury.

John Woods / The Canadian Press Anthony Faraci in his food truck as he relaunches his late uncle Paul Faraci's original Pizza Pop - Paul's Original Pizza Snack (POPS) Tuesday.

Anthony, who owns Faraci Foods and operates three food trucks, started selling the original recipe again Tuesday out of the Faraci Food Trailer with his father Phil, at the corner of Partridge Avenue and Salter Street in West Kildonan, where they plan to set up shop for the rest of the summer.

To Anthony, it was surreal. Over the years, his father and uncle talked about wanting to bring the recipe back, but never did. Back in February, after Paul’s death, Phil and Anthony hinted to the Free Press they might bring the snack back.

“The family has the original recipe and my son is thinking of getting them back in his food truck,” Phil said then. But Anthony said it was only possible if people wanted it.

They did. The response on Twitter was significant — even Tory MP Michelle Rempel tweeted about Pizza Pops after Paul’s death.

“Since the passing of Uncle Paul, there’s been such a crazy demand — even coast to coast, people requesting we start making them again,” Anthony said.

As for mass-producing the deep-fried snack again, that depends on how things go over the summer.

John Woods / The Canadian Press Anthony Faraci and his father Phil will be offering the original Pizza Pop recipe all summer at their food truck in West Kildonan.

“Right now, it will be strictly out of the food truck,” Anthony said. “Right now, the demand is pretty crazy — if we can keep up with what’s coming, we might look for a distributor and make them so other people can enjoy them.”

Mayor Brian Bowman was one of the food truck’s first customers.

Bowman said he followed the discussion in the media and online about things invented in Winnipeg following Paul’s death.

The Faracis sent Bowman an email, telling him they were getting ready to bring Paul’s pop back. They didn’t expect the response they got.

“They were super-pumped and excited to come down,” Anthony said, referring to Bowman and some other hungry folks from city hall.

Bowman reminisced about eating Pizza Pops as a child, before taking questions from reporters about Monday’s federal infrastructure funding announcement and Winnipeg Whiteout street party costs in front of the Faraci truck on Tuesday afternoon.

Supplied Paul Faraci, the Winnipegger who invented the Pizza Pop.

“My parents didn’t buy Pizza Pops,” he said. “It was one of those indulgences when I was with cousins at the hockey rink, growing up. I have fond memories.”

erik.pindera@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @erik_pindera

Erik Pindera

Erik Pindera
Reporter

Erik Pindera reports for the city desk, with a particular focus on crime and justice.

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