Goodbye Gourmet Pizza [ A Letter ]

Bursting the Bubble, Lifestyle/Personal
  

 

On Wednesday evening, I got word that Caruso Gourmet Pizza locked its heavy black doors for good. Caruso Gourmet Pizza was many things to many people; an excuse to forgo their diet for one night, a place to relax over a cup of coffee with friends, a Friday lunchtime tradition with coworkers, and even a daily stop on the morning commute for the best cappuccino in town.

To me, Caruso’s was a second home. I first started working there at the age of sixteen, when they were located in a tiny shop on the second floor of a complex. In the ten years I worked there, I learned more about life, responsibility, and customer service than I thought possible. I made incredible friendships with coworkers and lasting relationships with the regulars.

Somewhere a long the line my bosses, Domenic and Dina Caruso, became a third set of grandparents to me. I talked to them openly about my life, my dreams, and my passions. Equally, I complained about my life, my dreams, and my passions. They always listened to me fully and gave me advice without hesitation. Dom and I spoke daily about books, writing, and even current events. He’d tell me story after story and more often than not, I’d leave for the day feeling inspired and ready to write.

In fairness, I’m not THAT special; Domenic and Dina had incredible relationships with every single one of their customers. During a busy lunch or dinner rush, they always made time to chat with a customer, or shake hands with a friend. Not to mention sending me from table to table with complimentary espressos in hand. To many, the building was much more than a place to eat;  it was a place to be among friends.

I am truly saddened by the closure of such a wonderful establishment. Caruso’s is a huge part of Bolton’s history, culture, and identity. I will miss the warmth of the ovens, the delicious pizza, and having a second place to call home.

Here’s is my heartfelt thank you to Domenic and Dina Caruso, for everything you’ve done for me personally, for everything you’ve done for this town, and for keeping the Bolton youth employed and on the right track. I wish you the best of luck and hope you can finally have some time for yourselves, you deserve it.

Love Always,
Vanessa Xo

Introducing Pizza Vanessa

Lifestyle/Personal, Products and Brands, Restaurant Reviews

Today was a beautiful day. The sky a perfect blue, the air fresh and light, and the sun bright and warm. You’d think walking into work on a day like this would be depressing but it wasn’t. I was inducted into Caruso Hall of Fame. After more than 7 years of work, my boss created a pizza and named it after me.

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Red and white grapes, fresh rosemary, soft goat cheese, and mozzarella (no sauce). Savory, sweet, and a little but weird, like Me! It has a deliciously light, fresh, and odd flavour, one I reckon you should try!

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I Instagramed that photo this morning with the description I call it my second home… Why? Well, not only do I feel safe and comfortable but I always end a shift with some kind of knowledge gained. Today, when the power went out at 11 Am I learned how important basic math skills are. I also learned that there are many things we can’t control, you just have to roll it. Stretch a pizza, make a coffee, serve the customers, and don’t freak out!


Love Always
Vanessa Xo

Posted from the HTC One

Little notes, written with love, in a pizza place

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

Standing at the register on a particularly slow night at Caruso Gourmet Pizza, I greeted an incoming customer with a smile. Then I looked away and conspicuously wrote myself a note on the back of a scrap menu. As the customer cleared his throat, clearly ready to be served, I shoved the note into my apron and got him a slice of Meatlovers and a diet coke.

Having that note in my apron pocket suddenly lifted my mood. I once heard that if you really want something to happen you have to write it down. Although my diaries would contradict that theory – I never got to slow dance with ‘X’ at prom, ‘Y’ didn’t fall in love with me, nor did ‘Z’ ever up break up with ‘Q’. However, if you’re realistic with your intentions and plan on helping it along, there is nothing wrong with that theory.

My little vague note leaves so much room for interpretation and for action. Since October 22nd, I’ve had a few good things happen – most of which I had a hand in. There have been a few bumps and bruises too, but with that note tucked safely in my apron I let myself smile and think about good things that can happen and great things that I can MAKE happen.

I try to remember that really good things don’t have to be big things – they can be little occurrences that bring you one step closer to achieving your dream, they can be little moments that make you laugh so hard your cheeks hurt, they can be anything you want them to be.

Love Always
Vanessa Xo

CHAPMAN’S SAVED MY MOOD!

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal, Restaurant Reviews

Ever have an intense craving for something that you haven’t eaten for a long time, then when you finally have it, it doesn’t taste as good as you remembered? That DIDN’T happen to me last night.

After a long day serving pizza (with wonderful people) I felt tired and quite sad. Well, until I got to the bf’s house and was welcomed with a carton of Chapman’s Neapolitan Ice Cream.

I’ve been craving Chapman’s strawberry ice cream for months on end! The velvety smooth and creamy texture and the delicious sweet taste of strawberries dissolved all of my sadness and exhaustion. My heart smiled and as the bf laughed quietly, I realized that my eyes were closed and I was smiling from ear-to-ear for the first time all day…

…it’s the little things.

Love Always 
Vanessa Xo

 

CHAPMAN'S SAVED MY MOOD!

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal, Restaurant Reviews

Ever have an intense craving for something that you haven’t eaten for a long time, then when you finally have it, it doesn’t taste as good as you remembered? That DIDN’T happen to me last night.

After a long day serving pizza (with wonderful people) I felt tired and quite sad. Well, until I got to the bf’s house and was welcomed with a carton of Chapman’s Neapolitan Ice Cream.

I’ve been craving Chapman’s strawberry ice cream for months on end! The velvety smooth and creamy texture and the delicious sweet taste of strawberries dissolved all of my sadness and exhaustion. My heart smiled and as the bf laughed quietly, I realized that my eyes were closed and I was smiling from ear-to-ear for the first time all day…

…it’s the little things.

Love Always 
Vanessa Xo

 

Burning my insides, my heart, and my pride…

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

This rant has been burning my insides for the past few months and I think it’s time to get it off my chest. To some of my customers and anyone who has ever talked down to me:

** Just because I look like I’m seventeen does NOT mean that you can speak to me like I’m a stupid child. And by the way, not all young people are stupid and rude, the same way not all adults are smart and polite. **

Please keep that in mind before you look down your nose at me like I’m lying to you or trying to cheat you.

– Our slices are $7.40. No, I’m not trying to charge you more and pocket the money, so stop looking at me like that. NO I’m not the one who prices our slices so please stop getting mad at me if it seems too expensive.

– No Ma’am, we’ve never sold a vanilla latte here. We have a french vanilla or a plain latte, that’s it. No, I’m not just too lazy to make it for you so stop looking at me like that and stop telling me that another girl made you one last week.

I don’t pretend to know everything, not even at an establishment where I’ve worked for over six years. But I do know when I’m right about something. When I’m wrong, I keep my mouth shut. There are a lot of things that I don’t know and I love to learn new things. I am open to criticism, to questions, and to improving in any and every aspect of my life, but what I cannot handle is being talked to like I’m an idiot.

I’m twenty-three not seventeen and regardless of my age – if I greet you with a smile, I’d like the same in return. If I’m polite to you, I expect the same courtesy. If I’m wrong about something, cool, teach me what is right but treat me like a human being.

Rant over. Weight lifted. Heart empty.

Happy Sunday.

Love Always 
Vanessa Xo

Grand Romanitcal Gestures

Just for Fun
I know romantical isn’t a real word. What of it? 😛

http://weheartit.com/entry/25346902

So, yesterday I witnessed the cutest grand romantic gesture that I’ve seen since my brother-in-law proposed to my sister. A boy came into my work with a bouquet of pink roses to ask Dee to prom! He called my boss a few days earlier to get him to make her a pizza with “PROM?” written on it in ingredients. The kid’s face was all red and the entire staff was looking at them, even customers were getting teary-eyed – I was practically bawling.

Who knew that kids today had the capacity to pull off such things? No offense to boys today but I thought romance was long dead. I think this little scenario reaffirmed my faith in kids and allowed me to believe that it is possible for them to turn into ladies and gentlemen.

Sometimes life CAN be all rainbows and lollipops, enjoy it.

Hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Make it wonderful ❤

Love Always
Vanessa Xo

What’s your Legacy?

Just for Fun

As most of you know I work at a pizza place part-time and I find working there to be highly fulfilling. Not that I want to work there forever or anything, but I tend to learn a lot in the 25-30 hours a week that I’m there. One of the biggest lessons I have taken from there is the importance of treating people well. As an employer it is important to appreciate your workers and as a worker it is important to appreciate your customers.

My bosses (a husband and wife team) are great people and now more than ever before they treat their employees like family. It’s not my place to talk about their personal business in order to explain how they are at work. The point is that in spite of the pressures of running a business and disregarding those times that tensions are high, they never forget to thank and encourage their staff. They even make us lunch or dinner sometimes – which is something they aren’t obligated to do – pardon me while I drool over the thought of fresh gnocchi bolognese…

Don’t get me wrong, when they need to put someone in their place they do but it’s rarely necessary. They are good to us and they are good to their customers. Even when we are having an off day, I always have fun at work. My boss has become like a Nonno to me and my co-workers have become like cousins. They all teach me and help me in ways they will never understand.

I’d like to thank the entire staff at Caruso Gourmet Pizza for being such great people and for being good to me. Also, thanks for making work enjoyable (most days :P). I don’t know if I love you all for making me comfortable at work or if I hate you for it (I’m never leaving there am I? 😦 LOL )

P.s the picture below kind of inspired this blog…

I’d like to leave a lot of legacies behind – being good to people is just the beginning.

Love Always 
Vanessa Xo

What's your Legacy?

Just for Fun

As most of you know I work at a pizza place part-time and I find working there to be highly fulfilling. Not that I want to work there forever or anything, but I tend to learn a lot in the 25-30 hours a week that I’m there. One of the biggest lessons I have taken from there is the importance of treating people well. As an employer it is important to appreciate your workers and as a worker it is important to appreciate your customers.

My bosses (a husband and wife team) are great people and now more than ever before they treat their employees like family. It’s not my place to talk about their personal business in order to explain how they are at work. The point is that in spite of the pressures of running a business and disregarding those times that tensions are high, they never forget to thank and encourage their staff. They even make us lunch or dinner sometimes – which is something they aren’t obligated to do – pardon me while I drool over the thought of fresh gnocchi bolognese…

Don’t get me wrong, when they need to put someone in their place they do but it’s rarely necessary. They are good to us and they are good to their customers. Even when we are having an off day, I always have fun at work. My boss has become like a Nonno to me and my co-workers have become like cousins. They all teach me and help me in ways they will never understand.

I’d like to thank the entire staff at Caruso Gourmet Pizza for being such great people and for being good to me. Also, thanks for making work enjoyable (most days :P). I don’t know if I love you all for making me comfortable at work or if I hate you for it (I’m never leaving there am I? 😦 LOL )

P.s the picture below kind of inspired this blog…

I’d like to leave a lot of legacies behind – being good to people is just the beginning.

Love Always 
Vanessa Xo

Life Lessons In a Pizza Place

Uncategorized

On Friday night a regular customer came into my work to pick up their pizza. As usual my boss came out to greet this customer. Here’s what went down:

Customer: Hey ____, how’s everything?

Boss: Oh you know, can’t complain.

Customer: You know what they say about people who complain… those who complain do the least.

Boss:  Well, if you’re always complaining you get nothing done.

Me and girl I work with look at each other as if we have just been emancipated: Oh my god. I’ve never thought about it like that before!

Now, if you all are like me, I LOVE moments in my life where smack dab in the middle of my daily routine I learn a valuable life lesson. This was obviously one of those moments and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head all weekend. I’m not going to sit here and lie – I tend to complain a lot about things I don’t want to do or places I don’t feel like going but this weekend I stopped myself from doing so. I didn’t complain once about anything this weekend and ya know what, I actually got a lot accomplished and ENJOYED everything that I was doing. I think you can put yourself in whatever mood you want to be in by prioritizing your thoughts and getting rid of negative ones – like complaints.  Pretty simple idea once you wrap your head around it, huh?

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend too – it’s not over yet so you still have time to try out this whole I-will-not-complain-about-my-life mantra I have going on. I promise it’s worth it!

P.s Thank you to the regular customer that came into my work this Friday. You, Sir, made my weekend 🙂

Love Always
Vanessa Xo