Alimo’s Pizzeria of Slave Lake has been named the 2020 Canadian Pizzeria of the Year. The big news broke on May 5, when Alimo’s posted on Facebook that Canadian Pizza magazine had chosen the Slave Lake business for that annual honour.
“Thank you”…..said Alimo’s in the post, for selecting “our little pizzeria as the standard bearer for the entire nation.”
As to why it did, Moe Mouallem tells us pizza places across the country “are judged on a bunch of things, including menu, creativity, marketing, online presence and community involvement.”
Mouallem lists a few things Alimo’s did that got the attention of the judges. Random Acts of Pizza was a big one, garnering national attention. This is something that actually took place in 2019, sparked by a mistake made by somebody at the fire hall in Slave Lake. He placed an online order for pizzas at Alamo Pizza in San Antonio. When the mistake came to light, the Slave Lake fire hall asked that Alamo donate the pizzas to a couple of San Antonio fire halls.
According to a CBC News story, “the mix-up inspired Moe Mouallem (one of the owners of Alimo’s along with his brother Ali) to follow suit, with a campaign called Random Acts of Pizza.” Alimo’s invited people to donate pizza to other people.
“We had $200 from a couple of anonymous people… within the first few minutes,” says Moe, “and it just kind of snowballed from there.”
Other notable achievements for Alimo’s include a program it calls ‘Pizza for Everyone,’ which provides meals for people in need, ‘Moevember’ fundraising for Moe Salloum, ‘Feed the Frontline’ initiative, partnering with online comedy shows, and take-home pizza kits and heart-shaped pizza kits.
Moe says the award amounts to a validation that what they are doing is working.
“We are always looking to build our community through our business rather than just build our business. It gives us motivation to continue to evolve and be leaders in our community locally, and in the industry on a national scale.”
Along with the award comes a cover story in Canadian Pizza, plus an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas to the International Pizza Expo.