Canadian Pizza Magazine

Features Business and Operations
Good Neighbours: Keeping hard-working truckers truckin’


June 4, 2020
By Canadian Pizza

Topics
Pembina's Pizza Joint assistant manager Gaurav Khanna sent an open invitation to truckers for free pizza. Photo: Long Haul Truckers Forum, Facebook

Long-haul truckers often stop in to Pembina’s Pizza Joint in Winnipeg to take a break for pizza. During the pandemic, the thriving three-year-old pizzeria has given them even more reason to stop.

The store is on the Pembina Highway with easy access for truckers and a large parking lot that can accommodate half a dozen trucks, said assistant manager Gaurav Khanna.

Khanna sent an open invitation to truckers on the business’s Facebook page: “Hello, our beloved Truckers, Front line workers who are working for us to get the essential supplies delivered to the facilities. . . . We at Pembina’s Pizza Joint are delighted to let you guys know that we are offering free veggie pizza at our location at 1743 b Pembina Hwy. . . . We appreciate all the things you do thank you.”

Truckers can order either a 12-inch medium veggie pizza for one person or a 14-inch large for two people, Gaurav said. The truckers can customize the toppings. Staff suggest they call ahead by five or 10 minutes so they don’t have to wait for their pizza.

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Pembina’s staff are down by 60 per cent and current staff are working long hours Monday through Saturday from early afternoon to 3 a.m.

Reaction to the initiative has been positive with lots of smiles. “Truckers are doing a hard job,” Gaurav said. “Manager Mohit Vasudev is a good guy so he wanted to help.”

The shop has focused on takeout and delivery since opening three years ago. The Spicy Vegetarian, with a base of spicy gravy along with onions, green peppers, black olives and pineapple hot peppers, is a customer favourite.

“Most customers prefer their pizza delivered to their home,” Gaurav said. “We are practising social distancing. Drivers wear gloves and when a driver arrives at a customer’s home, they call, then leave the pizza at an agreed-upon place near the doorstep.”

Many people were ordering online before the pandemic and Gaurav expects cashless payment to become even more popular.


Thank you to Gold sponsor Parmalat and Silver sponsor HungerRush, formerly Revention, for supporting this initiative to recognize pizzerias being Good Neighbours. Know a pizzeria who is being a Good Neighbour? Let us know!