Maker Pizza is poised to continue to grow its footprint in the Toronto area with more locations planned in the future.
The company was established just over five years ago.
“It was a bit of a roller coaster ride to begin with but we’ve been very fortunate over that time and we’re in a strong position now for growth. The idea of Maker initially was to create a higher end, delivery pizza and also in doing that create something that was totally unique and original,” said Shlomo Buchler, owner of the company.
“That was a work in progress for the first two or three years. We had a clear vision of where we wanted to go with the product but we didn’t get there immediately. It took some time and believe it or not it’s still a work in progress for us. We are always looking to make improvements but we feel like we’re really close to attaining the original concept of Maker.”
Canadian chef and partner Matty Matheson was a big part of creating the menu for Maker Pizza with original topping combinations.
“It’s a true testament to Matty’s talent that menu has stuck with us for the past five and a half years and here we are today growing the business,” said Buchler.
Currently, the company has what Buchler says are two and a half locations. There’s the original downtown location on Cameron Street. The second location is on Avenue Road in North York. And because it got so busy and the company realized it was having capacity issues with dough, it realized it needed to centralize the dough production. So it built a commissary kitchen in an industrial building on Carlaw Avenue.
“In doing so we recognized we had quite a bit of space in there so we thought why don’t we put an oven in here and open for part-time service. I don’t like using the term, but sort of a ghost kitchen concept,” said Buchler.
“We’ve now acquired a unit in that same building with a storefront so we’ll have a proper location within the next month or so.”
Most of the business has been delivery and take out. When the pandemic is behind us, the plan is to offer some form of dine in at some of the locations and stick to the delivery and take out model for other locations.
“We’ve got some ambitious goals that we’ve set for ourselves and we’re actually in the process of building a location at Bloor and Dovercourt right now. It’s a great little spot. We’re very excited about entering that market,” said Buchler. “And we’ve got another great location at Bayview and Eglington which we start building out at the beginning of Q1 2022. We’re looking at about eight locations by the end of 2022, all very strategically placed throughout the city.
“All the locations will be hitting up new markets that we currently don’t service.”
Buchler said he believes the company truly created a new lane more than five years ago for delivery-style pizza.
“I think it’s just the pursuit of perfection which is not at a place we expect to land any time soon, however we’re very dedicated to improving. So whether that means the product, the menu, the store design, the efficiency of the kitchen, the customer service. Those things to us are all equally important and we invest a lot of time and effort into all of those things,” said Buchler.
“I don’t want to say that separates us from anybody because I have a lot of respect for the other pizzerias but I will say that internally we have a team that is so dedicated to what we’re doing, it’s really a beautiful thing to see and the team to me is more than a team, it’s really become a family. And as we’re growing that, I think the people that are coming in now to Maker, who are just joining the team, the family, they really see that and that’s why we have a very low turnover rate. It’s more about what we’re doing internally at Maker than what’s happening outside of Maker.”
Vanessa Lynch of brokerage DWSV Realty negotiated recent Maker Pizza lease deals.