There are fewer than ten decade-old independent pizzerias still standing in Mississauga. All of them deliver fantastic pizza, but one's tower leans over the rest.
Amadio’s Pizza, in Port Credit, has steadily risen to greatness like a perfectly cooked crust.
They've won Reader's Choice awards as the best independent pizzeria eight years in a row, Trip Advisor rated them Best takeout pizzeria in the city, and owner Joe Leroux was heralded as Canadian Pizza Chef of the Year for 2016.
What pizza did Joe make to win such a prestigious honour?
“I called it Chi Manga Bene, Viva Bene, which means in Italian, who eats well, lives well. It started with a 15 grain, multigrain hemp crust and a garlic parmesan cream sauce, rosemary potatoes, red onions, hickory smoked bacon, covered in mozzarella and aged cheddar cheese.”
We can see how he won the award based on what was on that pizza.
He goes on to say, “The latest [award] was the 2016 Canadian Pizza Chef of the Year. I won that in a competition between the 25 greatest chefs that congregated at the Canadian Pizza Show. We had a cook-off, we had to make two pizzas and the pizza that I made basically won that award.”
What makes this place so special is the attention to detail. Leroux is extremely particular about hand washing (you’ve gotta have top-notch cleanliness in any food establishment), and preaches quick, efficient and rigorous daily cleaning.
Joe smartly says “10 minutes of cleaning is a lot easier than three hours of scrubbing,” which translates into a little bit of work now saves a lot of work later.
The secret isn't only in the sauce, but in the ingredients as well. They are constantly inspected for quality and then precisely weighed or counted onto each pie. Leroux says it helps with both consistency in taste but also costs and trends.
As there are numerous pizza places in Mississauga outside of the generic chain joints, we asked the ever important question: what’s helped you stay successful?
“Adapting to change but being consistent as well. Consistency in weighing everything.”
“16 years ago I started using a postal scale to weigh the cheese because it was the only thing that could weigh something that small. That was one of the things that allowed me to control costs.”
On reminiscing about the early years, Joe says “I started in 1990, July 18th up at Dundas and Kirwin. From there I moved down to 1211 Hurontario St. where the Tim Horton’s is. I was there for about 14 years, then I suddenly had to move and find a place so I moved in here.”
As they close in on 30 years of creating consistent and quality pizza, Joe and his wife, Margit, have found a great recipe for success and have earned a strong reputation in the community for delicious food and stellar service.
The honest reviews on-line and plethora of repeat customers are a testament to that, along with the several new customers they earn.