How far would you go for a slice of your favorite ‘za? For a Colwood resident, the answer turns out to be just over 3,000 miles as the crow flies.
Earlier this month, John Palmer spent nearly $600 to have 10 large pizzas specially prepared and shipped overnight from his hometown of Windsor, Ontario. Although he thinks people would deem him crazy for such an extravagance, he found himself a minor international celebrity in the weeks since the story was first published.
“I had no idea it would get crazy and do interviews on national television,” Palmer said. “It’s just crazy, clearly my 15 minutes of fame have been extended to a full half hour.”
He said food in particular appears to be a common thing humans can relate to, with dozens of people reaching out to him on social media to share their own stories of cravings at home.
While the pizza is certainly a style in its own right – made with local, canned cheese, no fresh mushrooms and grated pepperoni, not sliced and all the toppings placed on top of the cheese – it was really the experience and the memories evoked by the pizza that made the effort so worthwhile for Palmer.
“We sat down and cooked one of the pizzas and had a wonderful evening,” he said. “Reminiscing about old Windsor memories, talking about all the times we’ve ordered this pizza, and also enjoying some damn good pizza.”
The idea of ordering the pizzas was first floated in 2020 when a similar story broke in Parksville, also involving Windsor’s pizza. This eventually sparked a discussion with fellow Windsorite and colleague Nigel Couch, after which they decided to split the cost to make it a reality.
They first had to find a pizza place in town, which turned out to be quite easy thanks to Antonino’s Original Pizza. Next is shipping, which the Windsor UPS Store is happy to help with, and it turns out they have experience shipping local pizzas to Dubai.
“We were able to identify May 3 as the departure day. All the pieces have come together. Pizza was half baked and put in the freezer the night before, my friend showed up to pick up the pizza, drove it with ice packs to the UPS store. The store was holding their driver back so we would properly wrap the pizza and put it in the truck, which then went to the plane, which then arrived at me at noon the next day.
That evening he and his wife sat with his father and his wife and Palmer’s sister-in-law, but absolutely no children, and enjoyed both great pizza and lots of stories about their time at Windsor.
“It’s not that Windsor pizza is better than Victoria pizza, it’s just a unique flavor to me,” Palmer said.
Overall the whole experience was better than he could have ever imagined.
“I feel really good. First of all I have a really good pizza and I have more in the freezer… but on top of that I also had the opportunity to share a really funny story which highlights the extra steps people will take to help someone, a complete stranger. I feel so good to be part of some positive news.
ColwoodFood and DrinkWest Shore