TORONTO - Last Sunday, March 25, 2018, the province of Basilicata in Southern Italy held its ceremony for the awarding of a Provincial award of Merit, “Lucani Insigni 2017”. It is an annual designed to recognize and thank Lucani ex-pats who have distinguished themselves for their accomplishments beyond the borders of their native land. Personalities of special note in the world of Culture, the Arts, Social achievements and Entrepreneurial accomplishments who have lifted the name and reputation of their native province, Basilicata, above pedestrian plateaus in the countries where they chose to establish their future. In 2005, the government of Basilicata enacted legislation directed to giving due recognition to such fellow “citizens”. Among the eight individuals so honoured this year is the name of one well-known to the Italian community in Toronto – Sam Primucci, founder and president of the renowned chain of restaurants, Pizza Nova.
The monastic chapel of San Domenico in the city of Venosa, a veritable architectural heritage and native city of the poet Horace, served as the setting for the event. The Italo-Canadian entrepreneur was awarded his prize in recognition of his success in establishing 125 restaurants/outlets in Ontario, 5 in Cuba and two in Bucarest, Romania. The award was accompanied with a painting authored by the artist Maria Di Taranto entitled “Humanitas”. It depicts five men and three women who move in a co-ordinate dance of sorts to celebrate the communion of Man with the Cosmos. Savino (Sam) Primucci emigrated very young with that first wave of emigration in the early Fifties. His energy and ambition unwavering, he soon put his dynamism and business acumen to fruitful practice. He took a small pizzeria in Toronto’s northeast (Scarborough at the time)at the corner of Kennedy Rd and Lawrence Ave, and built it into an internationally known franchise whose ovens produce more than one million pizzas weekly and now boasts exclusivity of service to the Toronto Blue Jays’ home stadium.
Never tiring, he continuously seeks out innovations. Recently his company introduced among its gourmet dishes a carbonized vegetable pizza, so called because of the products insinuated in the mixing of the dough, making it more easily digestible. Researchers contend that this keeps cholesterol under control and improves gastrointestinal functions. Sam Primucci has survived, and his business has flourished in the marketplace, for fifty four years under his direction, during which time he also served as President of the Canadian National Exhibition Food Products Association for 12 years. He has earned the respect and esteem of both the Italian Canadian community and its larger mainstream environment thanks sponsorship of socio-cultural events and for his philanthropy. The team at the Corriere Canadese joins the choir forming to express its heartfelt praise and congratulations to Sam Primucci with a heartfelt “Ad Majora”.