The Vasilarakis family immigrated from a small island village named Karpathos located in the Southern part of Greece to Brandon, Manitoba in 1979. A few years later in 1982 Pizza Express led by the late Antonios Vasilarakis and his Wife Kalliopi opened its doors for the first time.
Since then, two generations of Vasilarakis’s have become involved in the family business. Antonios’s son Gus and his Wife Antoinette currently own the business and have been working since day one. Gus’s oldest son Tony and his wife Brittany are both in management roles and are the successors to Gus and Antoinette making them the 3rd generation of original family ownership for Pizza Express. Gus’s other two children, daughter Popi and other son Christos, are also involved in the family business making it a complete family affair; and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
From day one, our business was built on two simple principles; provide unique, handmade, high quality food, and provide excellent customer service. Following these two principles and a pinch of our secret ingredient; CARE; our business thrived.
Pizza Express has been in business for nearly four decades, and is now into its third generation of original family owners, but things still haven’t changed much. Although we sport a fresh new look, an updated menu and plenty of new faces, Pizza Express is still deeply committed to its founding principles of providing quality, great tasting food, and providing exceptional service to all of its customers.
We take tremendous pride in our tradition and in the hard work we put into our food. We are meticulous with our ingredients, our recipes, and our craftsmanship. We will not settle for being mediocre; we strive for quality in everything that we do. At Pizza Express, all of our food is crafted with our secret ingredient, CARE; because we DO care about our food, and we do care about our customers.
This is how it has always been at Pizza Express; and this is how it will always be at Pizza Express.
Brandon has and always will be home for Pizza Express and the Vasilarakis family. Brandon provided a safe, friendly and welcoming environment for us to raise our family and for that we are so thankful. For many years the community has always been incredibly supportive of Pizza Express and our family. We love this city, it has given us so much; so without question it is important for us as a business to give thanks, give back and get involved in the community that has supported us all these years. Without the support of the community we would be nothing.
Over the years, Pizza Express has been involved with a number of community programs and initiatives. We have worked with the Brandon School Division, Brandon University, Assiniboine Community College, Westman Immigrant Services, Westman Dreams for Kids, the Brandon Music and Jazz Festival, several community ran after school programs and community center programs, Brandon United Way, Canadian Cancer Society Brandon and Area Division and countless other community initiatives. Whether it be through donations/prizes, volunteering or showing young kids how to make pizza, it’s always been important to us to be involved in these kinds of programs.
Pizza Express has also been heavily involved in the sporting community. Being athletes ourselves and being involved in multiple sports, makes it easy for Pizza Express to get involved and sponsor a wide variety of local youth and adult sports teams, the Brandon Wheat Kings, Special Olympics as well as individual player sponsorship for underprivileged children. This continues today.
We also make a point of catering to the many service workers in Brandon; those who work at our hospital, fire department, police station and jail. We make a conscious effort to send complimentary pizzas to these places on a monthly basis as a small token of our appreciation for the often unnoticed and unrecognized work that these people do to make our city a great place to call home.
We also ensure that we donate prizes to community program fundraisers, high school and Post-Secondary graduation bud and spuds, wedding socials, and sports teams fundraisers. Again, Brandon is our home. We take great pride in our involvement. We strive to make our community a better place to live and to inspire others to do the same.