Paul Faraci, the Winnipeger credited with inventing Pizza Pops has died. He was 89.
Faraci invented the Italian cheese-filled turnover at his Winnipeg restaurant in 1964, where he served burgers and other standard diner fare of the day. The new turnover treats – based on a panzerotti – proved to be a big hit with locals.
He called the new snacks Pizza Pops, eventually ditched his restaurant, brought in partners in 1975, and took his iconic snack nationwide.
By 1980, Faraci “unwillingly” sold his share of the business to his partners because he wanted to expand the product line and they refused.
In a video recently posted to YouTube before his death, Faraci offered his side of the Pizza Pop story.
Faraci’s former partners would go on to sell the rights to the Pizza Pop to Pillsbury. Pizza Pops are now made by General Mills, which operates a plant in Faraci’s hometown of Winnipeg. Pizza Pops are available only in Canada.