News / Ottawa

Fire truck sporting wood oven turns a joke into a business

It once put out fires in and around Ottawa, but now this vintage 1967 Fargo firetruck is starting them. Sort of.

It's making pizzas in a wood fire oven installed in its rear, after two Ottawa entrepreneurs turned a joke into an eccentric business idea.

"My business partner Jason Paquette called me one day saying how cool would it be to have an oven in the back of a fire truck," said Kyle Weisgerber. "He thought it was a bit of a joke. But when he told me I thought it was fabulous."

After getting off the phone with Paquette, Weisgerber turned to Kijiji and a quick search revealed the cherry red 67 Fargo.

"I went to look at the truck the next day and within that week we had purchased it," said Weisgerber. "We got it before I was 100 per cent we could use it, but it was such a cool idea I just couldn't wait."

With the truck in Weisgerber's drive way Canicus Catering was born. Once employed in the kitchen at the restaurant Vittoria Trattoria in the Market, Weisgerber said his good friend Paquette had always talked of opening their own place but couldn't afford the up front cash.

Yet the $125,000 fire truck and trailer it pulls aren't exactly on the cheap side. The two had to have many replacement parts for the truck custom built at a cost because of the rarity of their ride.

When it became fully roadworthy last month Weisgerber couldn't wait to set out for the truck's debut at Jazzfest. "We did everything we could financially that would separate us from everyone else," he said. "The response was awesome. Everyone was totally blown away."

Serving up a gourmet take on Italian food for Jazzfest, Weisgerber said that they want to diversify their menu and branch out to catering corporate events too.

"We don't want to just serve Italian food," he said, "but based on the event, we're going to be catering to it."

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