DAY’S CORNER – Sept. 4, 2012 – Convinced that Day’s Corner has tremendous potential because of its prime location on Highway 2, at the entrance to the Evangeline area, the owner of Randy’s Pizza in Summerside decided this past spring to expand his business to this high-traffic spot. After just three months in operation, his new location is already doing quite well and has already developed a regular client base.
Owner Riad Haidar – known to everyone as Randy – and his staff are always ready and eager to serve their customers their wide selection of Italian, Greek, Lebanese, Mexican and Canadian foods, including various salads, subs, wraps, burgers, fish and chips, wings and nachos. However, Haidar’s specialties are definitely pizza and donairs.
“We use our own family pizza sauce, passed down through the generations,” explains Haidar. “My grandfather developed this recipe at his restaurant back in Lebanon, where I worked a bit as a kid. When I came to Canada in 1988, I brought this treasured recipe with me and I’ve been using it ever since.”
Customers have a choice of 15 different pizzas or they can “build their own” from a lengthy list of toppings. “We heap on lots of ingredients; we’re not cheap on the food,” he adds.
His famous donairs – including his donair egg rolls and donair panzerottis – have also quickly gained popularity, both because of the tasty meat and the spicy sauce. “Other restaurants and chains do sell donairs but we are the ones who perfected them in Canada,” he says. “We consider ours to be real donairs.” He offers them in five sizes to suit every level of hunger.
His new family-oriented restaurant, opened seven days a week, offers everyday specials as well as pizza by the slice for lunch. It is also licensed to serve liquor.
Although Haidar only established his current restaurant in Summerside last December, he is certainly no stranger to the pizza business. He established his first pizza shop in Musquodoboit Harbour in Nova Scotia back in 1989 when he was about 23. Since that time, he has set up about 20 restaurants all over the Maritimes.
In Nova Scotia, he’s had shops everywhere from Yarmouth and Bridgewater to Port Hawkesbury and Sydney. In New Brunswick, he started pizza shops in Moncton and Sackville. After moving to PEI in 2000, he set up restaurants in Summerside, Kensington Alberton and Montague. He was the one who established A-1 Pizza on Water Street East in Summerside; he operated it for six years.
Once his restaurants are well established, he lets relatives and friends take them over or buy them. His previous Summerside restaurant moved downtown several years ago.
On a personal note, the 47-year-old father of three enjoys the fact that his new Wellington restaurant is located in a predominantly French-speaking area.
“In Lebanon, when you go to school, you learn two languages – Arabic and French, so I could speak French quite well back then,” he explains. But when he moved to Canada, he never got much opportunity to use his second language; in fact, he had to learn a third language – English.
So now, almost 30 years after finishing high school, he still understands a few French words and is hoping to pick up more of the language as he spends more time in the community.
Haidar is renting the restaurant building from the Baie Acadienne Development Corporation, with an option to buy.
For more information:
Riad Haidar (Randy)
Owner, Randy’s Pizza