News / Halifax

Rolling in the dough: Popular Cape Breton pizzeria a hit in Halifax area

More than 1,000 people ordered from Kenny's Pizza in Cole Harbour on its opening weekend.

It was an opening weekend that was hard to top no matter how you slice it.

More than 1,000 people, many of them displaced Cape Bretoners, flocked to Cole Harbour’s Kenny’s Pizza for a taste of home this past Saturday and Sunday alone.

With nine restaurants on the island, Kenny’s Pizza is considered a bit of an institution in Cape Breton.

Until last week’s Cole Harbour opening, the only off-island location was in Antigonish.

Owner Janice Mackley said despite the fact last Wednesday was supposed to be a “soft” launch, when their doors opened at 3 p.m. at 1038 Cole Harbour Road they were “bombarded” within 10 minutes by a line-up that stretched out the door.

“It has been crazy. I’ve had no sleep. It has definitely been beyond expectations, and I would say 90 per cent are Cape Bretoners,” Mackley said.

“I think any Cape Bretoners that are in HRM have made their way to this store this past weekend.”

Mackley and her husband are both from Cape Breton. Last fall they approached Kenny’s Pizza originator Michael Kenny about opening an HRM franchise.

“We’ve wanted to come here for a long time and the Mackleys approached us with the idea so we decided let’s look to see if we can find the right location. We felt we did here in Cole Harbour, and so far everything has gone fantastic,” Kenny said.

“We were very optimistic about our opportunity here, but never dreamed that it would be to this extreme. We saw people from all over Cape Breton this weekend. It was great to see that hometown support along with the new support from the local area.”

Courtney Libbus has lived in Cole Harbour for the past six years, but is originally from Sydney. She was at Kenny’s on Sunday and Monday and described it as a welcome taste of home. She expects to be a regular.

“I’ve been waiting for Kenny’s to move up here since I moved up here…I just like the taste of it way better than any other pizza I have tried up here,” Libbus said.

“I go to Kenny’s all the time at home. It is the first place I go when we go home."

So what is it about Kenny’s that creates line-ups out the door?

“It’s going to come down to the crust as well as our sauce,” Mackley said.

“The spices that do go into our sauce are actually done behind the scenes. Staff don’t see it, they don’t know what goes in it.”

On Monday, just six days after opening, Mackley is already seeing daily “regulars” coming through the doors.

“It is a Cape Breton phenomenon but we definitely want the locals and the businesses to come try it as well,” she said.

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