If we told you that one of the best pizzas we have tasted recently is in Rawdon! We tell you the extraordinary story of a family that cooks pizzas at home and that customers come to pick up at the drive-thru.
Posted at 11:00
Waldo Delay, a pilot of a large airline, is also passionate about good food. Before the pandemic, he regularly maintained contact between Montreal and Rome. With colleagues, he likes to discover addresses off the beaten track. “When he speaks the local language, that’s a good sign! “, Remarks him.
One day he sets foot in O’pazzariello, a small restaurant near the Vatican. Then she went back again, and again. “One day I brought them maple syrup and then they adopted me! “Says the pilot. He made friends with the owner and the chef, two pizza chefs who agreed to teach him the secrets of their Neapolitan pizza. Cybèle Major, his wife, accompanied him later and also learned the basics of this art.
In Rawdon, where the couple lives with their four children, he liked to receive friends for pizza evenings that allowed them to refine the techniques and recipes they learned in Italy. “Our family loves pizza, but we wanted to try other flavors besides pepperoni cheese. We launched a Facebook page and when I indicated that the oven was open, our friends showed up! Waldo Delay says.
Then came the pandemic.
Nailed to the ground, the pilot told himself that now or never to realize his dream: to open a pizzeria. Cybèle Major, who owns a wedding events business, also suddenly had a lot of free time. And we had to find a way to generate new revenue. This is how Waldo Peppers was born in the fall of 2020!
A transformed house
Soon friends and locals hugged Waldo Peppers, whose name is a nod to the inspiration behind the pilot’s name, the film. The Great Waldo Pepper. Then word of mouth did its job.
I woke up in the morning at first and couldn’t believe myself that people came here looking for pizza!
First installed in their kitchen, with the oven running at full capacity, the family had to face the facts: a part of the house had to be transformed into an operational kitchen, both to meet the demand and the requirements of the Ministry of Agriculture, of the Fishing and Food of Quebec (MAPAQ) for the catering permit.
Because Waldo Peppers is not a restaurant, but a restaurateur. All pizzas are then collected in “door-to-door” mode by customers waiting for their orders away from home.
The dining room has been sacrificed to house a kitchen, where there is a pizza oven imported from Italy and everything needed for Waldo Delay to make his delicious pizzas. The 17-year-old eldest, William, assists him. Heidi and Wendy, 13 and 12, respectively, help their mother take orders over the phone, deliver pizzas to customers and set up boxes with their little sister, Cobie, 9. Heidi is also responsible for the topping of the decadent S’mores pizza with Nutella, graham crackers and marshmallows …
Starting with a small, very limited and fairly traditional menu of six flavors, the menu has expanded, with more North American influenced creations, and now includes some forty pizza choices, as well as fresh pasta, salads and desserts.
“Our goal is to reproduce the O’pazzariello pizza as best we can, as if you were in Rome,” says Waldo Delay. The dough, the tomato sauce, the quality ingredients, nothing is left to chance. Waldo Peppers pizzas aren’t just good, they’re great too.
On a roll
A look at the reviews seen on Google confirms this, with a near-perfect rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars.
We were really surprised by the question. We have clients who come from all over Quebec. Last time we also had people from Little Italy who had heard about our pizzas.
He says they offer the “70%” cooked pizza option for those who can’t eat it fast. Once at home, you just have to cook it for a few minutes in the oven at maximum power.
Given the success, the family decided to continue the adventure, although Waldo Delay resumed his work. Despite the strong demand for wedding planning, Cybèle Major is dedicated entirely to Waldo Peppers and a full-time chef has been hired.
What is it like to have a pizzeria at home? “It’s a little bit special, but it’s the fun ! observes Heidi. “Of course it’s not always easy, even as an adult. But Waldo Peppers is the whole family’s business, it also belongs to the children ”, adds Cybèle Major.
The following ? The opening of a restaurant, this time true, is in the cards. A project that the family intends to carry out over time and place, one step at a time. Like a good pizza!
Waldo Peppers is open Thursday from 4pm to 8pm, then Friday-Sunday, 11am to 8pm. Order in advance by phone, Messenger or Instagram and pick up the car on site.
3153.7And Avenue, Rawdon