Revamped Food and Beverage Menus, Renovated Room and New General Store Anchor Original GA Brand Experience
Reopening Coincides with Fourth Anniversary of Fast-Growing Pizza Brand
TORONTO, December 02, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--General Assembly Holdings Limited (the "Company" or "GA Pizza") (TSXV: GA), an innovative, premium consumer packaged goods ("CPG") brand dedicated to making delicious pizzas available to everyone, everywhere, is today marking its fourth birthday with the opening of a completely reimagined dining and shopping experience at its flagship restaurant.
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General Assembly’s home restaurant—located at 331 Adelaide Street West in downtown Toronto—has been the cornerstone of the GA Pizza brand since opening its doors in late 2017. It was where thousands of diners first fell in love with GA’s unique naturally leavened pizzas. When the COVID-19 pandemic halted indoor dining, it became the test kitchen and production line for the innovative flash-frozen pizzas that now drive the Company’s fast-growing retail and direct-to-consumer CPG business. And now that pandemic restrictions have eased and CPG production has moved to a new dedicated facility, the restaurant is evolving once again.
Starting today, General Assembly is welcoming food-lovers for a reinvigorated culinary experience, with a fully renovated space, a refreshed menu and a new General Store stocked with hard-to-find gourmet take-home treats.
"Everything we do is for the love of pizza, and from the moment we served our first Loving Cup pie four years ago, the restaurant has been the heart of that mission," said Ali Khan Lalani, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of GA Pizza. "It has always been a space of joy, of innovation and of discovery—an easy place for people to come together to enjoy a delicious meal. Our latest reinvention builds on that in a truly exciting way."
The Menu: A Mix Of Old And New Favourites
The restaurant boasts refreshed food and beverage menus, developed by Chef de Cuisine Nicholas Morra (formerly of Paris Paris, Chantecler and La Banane), working side-by-side with Corporate Executive Chef Curt Martin and Hospitality Operations Lead Quentin Meloff.
"Our menu delivers the classic recipes GA Pizza fans have come to crave, of course, but it also introduces several fun and tasty new items we can’t wait for people to try," said Nicholas Morra, Chef de Cuisine at General Assembly. "We’ve obsessed over every detail, from our hand-grated cheeses to our organic tomatoes. And we’ve added some creative, and genuinely delicious, choices for plant-based and meat-free diets."
In addition to such GA Pizza favourites as Mila Margherita, Loving Cup and King Shroom, the restaurant will feature a changing array of new pizza recipes, including:
Red Hook: tomato, caciocavallo, fior di latte, pork sausage, Guindilla pepper, red onion, double garlic, oregano, Grana Padano, fried sage;
Certified Lover Boy: tomato, grass-fed mozzarella, caciocavallo, Ezzo natural pepperoni, pork sausage, bacon, hot salami;
Kush Queen (meat-free): kale, fior di latte, blue cheese, olive, shishito, pistachio, ricotta salata, olive oil, aged white balsamic; and
New Wave (plant-based): tomato, basil, NUMU mozzarella, Soleggiati tomato, kalamata, pumpkin seed parmesan, olive oil.
Long Goodbyes, a custom pizza featuring Impossible™ meat seasoned with sausage flavours (as well as offering the plant-based meat as an add-on to all orders)
A carefully curated assortment of other menu items complement the pizzas:
Small plates meant for sharing, including oven-roasted shishito peppers, whole burrata and olive oil-poached albacore tuna;
Chef-composed salads, such as Caesar, Kale and Ballpark (a hearty salad built around mortadella, smoked cheddar vinaigrette and chicory);
Plant-based Honey’s Ice Cream, in two flavours: Cookies & Cream and Atlantic Salted Caramel;
Premium beverage options, including Toronto craft beers, lively wines (available by the glass) and five signature, made-to-order house cocktails.
The Room: A Relaxed And Lively Dining Experience
The restaurant has been completely renovated to create a lively and inviting atmosphere, filled with warm woods, perforated metals, and bold colour accents. A mix of high-top and bench seating invite diners to relax and enjoy their meals.
Hospitality Operations Lead Quentin Meloff is bringing his experience leading front-of-house teams at such award-winning restaurants as Aloette and Alo to the premium fast-casual space, creating an elevated experience that combines quick service with warm hospitality.
The General Store: A New Way To Take Your Love Of Pizza Home
The new General Assembly restaurant includes a new General Store shopping space, stacked with an ever-changing array of food products, drinks and accessories hand-picked by GA Pizza chefs and staff. This includes:
Hard-to-find pantry items such as Newfoundland Sea Salt, Bianco di Napoli organic tomatoes, Robinson bread;
One-of-a-kind vintage houseware finds consciously curated by Black Dot Shops
Small-batch condiments and ingredients by local artisans and makers, such as XOXO Sauce and Acid League vinegars;
Frozen pizzas to take the GA Pizza experience home; and
GA Pizza merchandise, exclusively available at GA’s general store
"The General Store will be an evolving experience—it’ll be different every time you come, as our chefs encounter exciting new products and makers," said Nicholas Morra. "We know our guests are as passionate about food as we are, and this is a way for us to share rare finds we really love for them to enjoy at home."
"The original General Assembly restaurant was pretty special, and we didn’t want to change it just for the sake of doing so," said Ali Khan Lalani. "We revisited every touchpoint in the restaurant with a hyperfocus on heightening the guest experience, from the table settings, to Toronto's first heated pizza counter purpose built for takeout orders. Our regulars will notice the difference right away. The result is a truly beautiful space for people to snack, sip, and shop. We’re redefining what it means to go grab a pizza."
About GA Pizza
GA Pizza began its life as a fast-casual pizza restaurant in the heart of Toronto. Four 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.
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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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