New site in Vaughan, Ontario producing up to 100,000 frozen pizzas per month, more than doubling output
TORONTO (BUSINESS WIRE) - General Assembly Holdings Limited (the “Company” or “GA Pizza”) (TSXV: GA), a Toronto pizza restaurant turned omnichannel consumer packaged goods (“CPG”) brand, is pleased to announce the opening of its “expanded kitchen”: a 42,060 square-foot master production facility in Vaughan, Ontario.
The new facility equips the Company to meet surging demand for its freshly frozen, naturally leavened premium pizzas. It also allows the flagship General Assembly restaurant in downtown Toronto—which has been producing frozen pizzas since the advent of COVID-19 restrictions in March 2020—to reopen to diners as a refreshed and expanded hospitality experience.
The Company secured the new production facility in July and commenced production on September 9. Located on Marycroft Avenue and emblazoned with GA Pizza’s signature pizza siren, the facility has increased the Company’s monthly output of frozen units to 100,000, with greater output to come in the months ahead.
“On September 9, our first day of production at the new facility, we made 600 pizzas. Within three weeks, we were making more than 4,000 per day—more than double our maximum capacity at the restaurant,” said Hormis Tharakan, Chief Operating Officer of GA Pizza. “We now have the capacity and the technology to not only meet consumer demand, but to further grow our output. And we have a clear plan to do it.”
The Company’s plan to scale its frozen pizza output at the new facility has three phases:
- Phase I: Launch (September and October 2021). Prior to opening the facility on September 9, 2021, the company sourced equipment, commissioned the construction of its first production line and hired a full staff. The site was certified by Toronto Public Health, as well as by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which allows the Company to sell throughout Canada. The facility is currently operating between two shifts, five days a week.
- Phase II: Optimization (Q1 2022). GA Pizza will install new equipment, including a bigger oven and the capacity to produce more dough. This new equipment will add a greater degree of automation. This will increase production to 300,000 pizza units per month.
- Phase III: Automation (2023). The Vaughan facility will be fully automated enabling monthly production of up to 600,000 units.
The opening of the dedicated facility enables GA Pizza to support its fast-evolving omnichannel business model, which now includes:
- Retail sales. The Company’s new production capacity allows it to pursue enhanced distribution capabilities in retail channels—specifically, through large grocery banners. GA Pizza is currently available in more than 100 stores.
- A five-store pilot program with Fortinos Supermarket, a grocery chain owned by Loblaw Companies Ltd., is expected to expand to 23 stores in Q4 2021.
- A sales partnership with national CPG food broker Propel Natural Foods provides the Company with infrastructure and expertise to sell into natural, grocery, mass merchandise and club retail channels.
- Direct-to-consumer sales. Building on successes in several key Ontario markets (including the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, Muskoka, Prince Edward County, Kingston and the Windsor corridor), the Company’s new e-commerce website offers an enhanced customer experience and a new one-time purchase option.
- Restaurant sales. The restaurant’s takeout and delivery channels re-opened in the latter half of Q3. In Q4, the Company will officially welcome guests back to where it all began: the flagship General Assembly restaurant on Adelaide Street West in Toronto.
- Led by former Alo Group manager Quentin Meloff—who has joined GA Pizza to help elevate and redefine premium fast casual dining—the fully renovated space will reflect the Company’s refreshed brand, include expanded food and beverage offerings and feature a curated bodega for take-home shopping.
- The restaurant has been closed to diners since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic; its reopening will allow GA Pizza to operate on all cylinders for the first time in nearly two years.
“Get ready: coming off a record-setting Q2, we’re about to see real scale,” said Ali Khan Lalani, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of GA Pizza. “We plan to produce 270,000 frozen units in Q4, giving more pizza-lovers than ever what they have come to crave: a convenient and delicious frozen option. This capacity, paired with our work to deepen our retail and direct-to-consumer sales channels, is unlocking economies of scale that lead us on a clear path to profitability.”
About GA Pizza
GA Pizza began its life as a fast-casual pizza restaurant in the heart of Toronto. More than three years later, we also offer a freezer-to-table consumer packaged goods line and a revolutionary direct-to-consumer eCommerce experience—not to mention a pizza box with more than one pizza in it. Our ambition? Make delicious pizzas available to everyone, everywhere. We’re always working to take pizza to new heights—from showing the world that better pizza is possible, to finding new spaces and places to deliver unrivaled pizza experiences. Find us in your freezer or visit gapizza.com for more information.
GA Pizza media assets available for download.
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This press release contains statements which constitute “forward-looking information” or “forward-looking statements” (together “forward-looking information”) within the meaning of applicable securities laws, including statements regarding the plans, intentions, beliefs and current expectations of the Company with respect to future business activities and operating performance. Forward-looking information is often identified by the words “may”, “would”, “could”, “should”, “will”, “intend”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “expect” or similar expressions and includes information regarding anticipated increases to the Company's production capacity at the master facility and the Company's growth strategy.
Investors are cautioned that forward-looking information is not based on historical facts but instead reflect the Company’s management’s expectations, estimates or projections concerning future results or events based on the opinions, assumptions and estimates of management considered reasonable at the date the statements are made. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking information are reasonable, such information involves risks and uncertainties, and undue reliance should not be placed on such information, as unknown or unpredictable factors could have material adverse effects on future results, performance or achievements of the combined company. Among key factors and risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information may include, without limitation, the following: there being no market for the securities of the Company; the Company’s limited operating history; global economic risk; COVID-19’s impact on the Company; the general economic environment; cybersecurity risks; financial projections may prove materially inaccurate or incorrect; the Company may experience difficulties to forecast sales; general competition in the industry from other companies; management of growth-related risks; reliance on management; risks relating to insurance; changes in food and supply costs could adversely affect profitability and ultimately our results of operations; our business could be adversely affected by increased labour costs or difficulties in finding suitable employees; changes in customer tastes and preferences, spending patterns and demographic trends could cause sales to decline; changes in nutrition and food regulation; failure to establish our master production facility; failure to expand production capacity; disruption at our facilities; government regulation of the food industry creating risks and challenges; risk associated with food safety and consumer health; changes in internet and social media search algorithms; risks associated with leasing commercial and retail space; third party reliance for shipping and payment processing; environmental laws; we may not persuade customers of the benefits of paying our prices for higher-quality food; our marketing and advertising strategies may not be successful, which could adversely impact our business; requirements for further financing; the Company may prioritize customer growth and engagement and the customer experience over short-term financial results. This forward-looking information may be affected by risks and uncertainties in the business of the Company and market conditions.
Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking information prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as intended, planned, anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Although the Company has attempted to identify important risks, uncertainties and factors which could cause actual results to differ materially, there may be others that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update this forward-looking information except as otherwise required by applicable law.
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