Winnipeg man credited with inventing the Pizza Pop dies at 89

WINNIPEG — Paul Faraci put a new twist on a traditional Italian food and created a snack that would become a staple for fast-food-fuelled teens across Canada.

The man credited with inventing Pizza Pops died Feb. 6 in Vernon, B.C., at the age of 89, his family said Tuesday.

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Faraci owned a restaurant in the 1960s that offered burgers and other fare. His nephew said his uncle decided to put a different take on Italian cheese-filled turnovers such as panzerotti or calzone.

“He tasted a panzerotti or whatever and he didn’t like the taste of it, so he decided he could make it better,” recalled Phil Faraci.

“It took off so well that he decided to get rid of the restaurant and started manufacturing them, took in a couple of partners and started going into grocery stores.”

Faraci called the new snack Pizza Pops.

In a video posted to YouTube before his death, Paul Faraci recalled splitting with his partners because he wanted to offer a broader range of products and they refused.

“In 1980, my partners ended up with the company, and, of course, I didn’t end up with too much.”

His partners later sold the business to Pillsbury. Pizza Pops are now made by General Mills, which operates a plant in Winnipeg.

Other microwaveable takes on the calzone would come onto the marker grew over the years — Pizza Pockets, Hot Pockets and more.

On Tuesday, people paid tribute on social media to Faraci’s creation, including Conservative MP Michelle Rempel, who lives in Calgary.

“I literally just paired my morning antibiotics with a Pizza Pop, my go- to comfort food (don’t judge — you’ve been there too),” Rempel wrote on Twitter.

“There were always Pizza Pops in the freezer when I was growing up in Winnipeg.”

Phil Faraci said his uncle was an entrepreneur who came up with other ideas, but was proudest of his Pizza Pop legacy.

“He always wanted to get it back so that the family could produce it again, under a different name or whatever.”

That may happen. Phil Faraci’s son runs a food truck and is looking at reviving the original recipe to recapture the Pizza Pop flavour before it was mass-produced.

“The original was a little more flaky, a little more taste to it. The ingredients were different.”

Just Posted

Is the fate of Red Deer’s Parsons House solely in the hands of the province?

Demolition of old police station next door to begin this fall

Fundraiser to help keep kids warm in Blackfalds

Community Warmth Fall Fundraiser

Piper Creek Foundation gets a new name

Red Deer subsidized housing program for seniors

Reveen returns to Red Deer

Presented by Friends of Red Deer Regional Hospital

2019 Winter Games will transform Red Deer: Olympic organizer

Team leader behind 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics provides inspirational pep talk

WATCH: Red Deer students take part in annual run

Dawe/St. Pat’s Run reaches 40th anniversary

Smile Cookie fundraiser campaign for Reading College kicks off

Fundraising campaign runs Sept. 12-18 for program that helps children improve their reading

‘Nightmare that won’t end’: Storm evacuees can’t return yet

WILMINGTON, N.C. — Hundreds of people waited in long lines for water… Continue reading

New bridge collapses into river in rural Saskatchewan hours after opening

HYAS, Sask. — A rural politician in eastern Saskatchewan says he’s at… Continue reading

Halifax researchers tag great white shark in Atlantic Canada for first time

HALIFAX — For the first time in Atlantic Canadian waters, scientists have… Continue reading

Liberal riding association president blindsided by MP’s defection

OTTAWA — The president of an Ontario Liberal riding association says he… Continue reading

Pope gives bishops more decision-making options

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis decreed on Tuesday that ordinary Catholics should… Continue reading

Hurricane rating system fails to account for deadly rain

TRENTON, N.C. — When meteorologists downgraded Hurricane Florence from a powerful Category… Continue reading

Glad company: Trailer for Disney’s ‘Mary Poppins Returns’

LOS ANGELES — A beloved nanny is preparing to take to the… Continue reading

Most Read