History of Paliotti’s Italian Restaurant
All Legends start somewhere; Our Family History in restaurants started in Montreal, in the 60’s. My dad, mom and Uncle Joe, after working a few years at Dominion Food Stores they decided to buy their first restaurant. It was located outside of Montreal in Chomedey Laval, It was called Labelle Pizzeria. I was only a kid then but, when I went to the restaurant, I would remember people saying that they loved the food. The kitchen was in the front; we had a big bellied pizza chef from Naples, Italy, the chef and the rest of the staff and family would be throwing pizza dough in the air (showing off). The phones were ringing off the hook. We had our family and staff working very hard, but also having a lot of fun together.
At thirteen years old, my cousin John and I started washing dishes. I remember stacking the dishes as high as we possibly could and my Dad freaking out and afraid that the dishes would fall and break. It was a lot of work but a lot of fooling around (very fun).
After mastering the dishwashing, we were promoted to the front kitchen where me (Joe) plus my cousin (John), were cooking pasta, steaks, salads and learning how to make pizzas. It wasn’t too long before I was throwing pizza dough in the air just like the chef from Naples.
When I was sixteen my Dad wanted to go to Italy, he gathered up the whole family and off we went. We purchased a restaurant and worked it for two years. I was in love with Italy, never wanted to come back but again he wanted a change and off we went back to Montreal.
Dad bought this pizza restaurant in west Montreal, after school I worked many hours with my family and staff. When I finished school I knew that the restaurant business was for me, I thought of other careers, but realized that the restaurant business was in my blood and my life.
I went to Vancouver on vacation a few times, I was already married with two kids and discovered that BC was a great place to live.
I moved to BC, I looked everywhere for a restaurant. I finally found one, a hamburger drive inn in Maple Ridge on Dewdney Trunk Road.
The idea we had was to make the food taste great, and have good service. The people would love it there, and they did. It took a lot of hard work from all of us, for many years. It has paid off because after 30 plus years we are still counting the years and cooking together as a family.
As the years went by my brothers (Nick and Dean) got older, one after the other they started working at the restaurant, after a few more years went by my brothers, growing up in the restaurant; decided also that this was their life.
Now they are all grown up with families of their own. The Paliotti family grew larger and opened other locations in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
Today we have two locations, Downtown Maple Ridge and Downtown Abbotsford. They are a half hour driving distance between the two locations.
Paliotti’s Italian Restaurants are truly a family business with family’s working at Paliotti locations, all training to be cooks and learning the business of the restaurant.
In Maple Ridge my brother, Nick and his kids Tony, Franco, Johnny are working there, also his wife, Monique; she has been working for Paliotti’s since she was fifteen years old. My other brother Dino and his wife Roberta, she has also worked at Paliotti’s since she was fifteen. I’m sure that two of his four girls will be working at Paliotti’s before you know it.
I’m in Abbotsford, Joes kids Ricardo, Roberto, Matt, Mike, Korina and my wife Louise. They are always at Paliotti’s. Mom, Dad, and kids are always around to serve you, truly a family business with three generations of family members.
My Dad (Gaby) and my Mom (Anna) along with their children and grandchildren were all cooking and working together. Everyone was learning how to make great food. My Mom is the best cook, it doesn’t matter what she serves me, it’s great, and I love it. My mom is famous for Paliotti cake, handmade gnocchi, and more. My dad is famous for great meat sauce and handmade pizzas, I remember my dad stirring the meat sauce for hours. Unfortunately my father is no longer with us but he did show us how to make his fantastic meat sauce. Now years have gone by. Where are we going; possibly more locations and more kids, same great fresh foods, service, fare prices and always cooked by a Paliotti. This is truly a family business with three generations of Paliotti members working it.
We wish everyone great success and health in life.
Thanks, Mom and Dad
Writer: Joe Paliotti