The ovens at Maurice Pizzeria in Waterloo have been popping out famous pizza since the 1970s and continues to leave its mark on locals and visitors passing through. Owned by Stéphanie Lévesque and her partner Stéphane since 2015, Maurice Pizzeria has been in the Lévesque’s family for around 40 years and they have stuck to the original recipe that has given them the reputation of having some of the best pizza in the Eastern Townships.
Maurice Pizzeria was started by Maurice Deslandes around 1972 and was taken over by his son for a few years before falling in the hands of the Lévesque family around 1979. “Afterwards, it was my grandfather that purchased it and it was located underneath La Dragon Vert. There was no dining area, there was only delivery and takeout. He moved the restaurant to where we are now and it has been around 35 years that we have been situated here,” said Lévesque.
Her uncle took over the business from her grandfather until she and Stéphane decided to take it over in 2015. “I was a waitress here when I was 15 when I was in school and my partner was doing deliveries and that’s how we met,” Lévesque recounted. “Afterwards, I worked in the health domain and it was difficult enough. I did a lot of hours, but I still had three children. I spoke with my uncle and he wanted to sell it. We wanted it to stay in the family and we had a taste for a new adventure so that’s why we thought it was important.”
Making their new adventure that much more special, is the involvement of their children. “My oldest is a waitress and she started here one month before we purchased from my uncle. My boy does deliveries, right now he is working in construction, but he does every Friday night. My youngest works in the kitchen so they all have their own role. Since the beginning they wanted to be involved with us,” noted Lévesque.
Three generations onward, they continue to put their time and energy in ensuring that they continue to live up their reputation of having some of the best pizza in the region. “The dough is made right here, it is me and Stéphane that do it every day, the sauce is also made here. It’s a homemade sauce, nothing is bought,” emphasized Lévesque. “It has fresh vegetables and we use quality products. We haven’t changed anything in the recipe. It’s the same pepperoni since my grandfather and my uncle and the same thing for the cheese. The spices are also the same; we won’t change our winning recipe.”
Lévesque said that sticking to traditions is what makes Maurice Pizzeria unique. “We haven’t changed anything and we have received comments from people that came here when they were young who moved to a different town and when they come here they stop in.”
Maurice Pizzeria only recently reopened its dining hall after restrictions were lifted, but their loyal clientele helped them avoid a huge impact with take-out and delivery orders. The most difficult part, mentioned Lévesque, is the lack of staff. “Despite everything, we continued to put out production and it’s a lot of work. We have employees to do the meals and the orders and it’s me and Stéphane that deal with the dough and the sauce, we take the time to do it.”
Now that their dining hall is up and ready, clients can expect an upgraded space. “Every time there was a closure, it gave us a chance to do renovations inside. There were a lot of decorations that were outdated, we changed the floors upstairs, the booths, the lights, now we have hanging lights, the counters. Each time we did little renovations so that it didn’t bother the clients and everything else.”
Still learning the ins and out of business, Lévesque said the success of Maurice Pizzeria is all down to the patience of their clientele and their hard-working staff. “It’s because of them that we have survived all of these years. They support and continue to support and we are really happy. We appreciate all of our clientele and we are doing the best we can. It hasn’t been long we have been involved in business so we are doing our best to satisfy our clients. I thank all of my employees for their great work.”