grew up in Figline, a small southern town in the province of Cosenza,
Italy. After he finished elementary school, Gino realized that further
education was not the path for him.
At age 19, Gino set out for a new life in Manitoba. After
three years there, where he worked for Canadian Pacific Railway
oiling locomotives, Gino decided to move to Windsor, to be
closer to his brother-in-law, Stan Cundari, who ran a pizzeria
in Detroit. Stan's succesful business inspired Gino to learn
the tricks of the trade and he opened his own pizzeria in Windsor.
Gino worked hard to obtain all of the elements he needed
to start a business. Things were looking promising, but Gino
invested long, hard hours and many sleepless nights in his
The grand opening of the Volcano Pizzeria occurred in 1957
and the business was an instant sucess, exceeding Gino's
original expectations for the business. Located in the heart
of Windsor, where no other Italian restaurants had opened,
business at the pizzeria was quickly booming. Gino had his
original debt paid off within the first year of operation.
Though he did not have enough money to advertise, the word
of mouth spread the news around the city. Within a few years,
Volcano Pizzeria grew from a small 60-seat pizza shop to
a 400-seat restaurant.
Gino loved interacting with people and running a pizzeria
was a perfect job for him. He took great pride in the young
people he hired and was always happy to see them graduate
and move on to become teachers, doctors and lawyers.
With the ups, of course, there were downs. His long hours
left little time for his family life and he was often over-tired,
over-worked and stressed out. Gino felt that "patience
and determination" were the main qualities which contributed
to his success.
With the birth of his grandson in 1986, Gino Manza sold
his business to the Downtown Mission Centre, and he ended
almost 30 years in the pizzeria business.