Pannizza is a custom-order pizza and pannini joint, where you pick your toppings sandwich-shop style from a deli counter (or choose from some signature options). Your personalized 11-inch pizza, or paninni, is then baked in a mere 2 minutes and 15 seconds, “fresh to order.” 

The franchise was born from the ambition of making “a satisfying quick-service experience,” because they felt it simply didn’t exist before them. “They’re pretty boring and the food service industry hasn’t evolved much in decades!”

So they took a road trip around North America, and “ate a lot of sad pizza, cold panninis, terrible salads [and] started taking notes.” The notes they took asked questions like “What goes into a great dough? What makes you eat that last slice of pizza? What’s the wow factor in a pannini? Why is pizza by the slice such a letdown?”

Their answer to perfecting panninis came down to their shared postulation that “grilled paninis are underwhelming.” To fix that, Pannizza bakes their pannini bread fresh to order, in some kind of magical process that can do so in 2 minutes and 15 seconds. They consider this approach “a radical re-imagining of the pannini process.”

You’ll have to see for yourself when they open their five locations here in April: The Avalon Mall, the Village Mall, The St. John’s Airport, The Shoppes at Galway, and 80 Kenmount Road.

The aforementioned pannini bread has a “flocculent interior, a buttery flavour, and a lustry texture.” In addition to choosing your toppings on the spot, you can choose from some signature sandwich options.

Their roadtrip revelation about takeout pizza was that single slice pizza doesn’t cut it for a personal-sized fixed, because those slices often sit under a heat lamp forever, degrading their delicacy. The alternative is to wait forever for a fresh baked pizza pie.

Pannizz’s compromise is a personal sized pizza baked to order in their magic 2 minute and 15 second baking process, “using a century old family recipe for Tender Stone Baked dough. Voilà! No more long waits, no more old slices, and customers choose their own toppings to put on a variety of crusts or select from signature combinations.”

They’re best known for their “Daily Deal.” It’s a personal pizza (or pannini) with a drink and chips for $7.75. The pizza or pannini of choice differs daily: Mondays = All Dressed pizza; Tuesdays = Salsa Verde pizza; Wednesdays = Italiano Baked Sandwich; Thursdays = “2 Top” Pizza; Fridays = Pepperoni Pizza; Saturdays = Veggie Baked Sandwich; Sundays = Canadian Pizza.

In addition to baked sandwiches and pizzas, they have build your own poutines, or signature ones, build your own salads, and dessert options, like a “bananarama” (Banana, Nutella, and marshmallow dessert pizza). Gluten-free options exist.