Dhillon was born in Stockton and grew up in Canada. The 22-year old recently graduated from the University of British Columbia. Now, he will run the Fresno branch of Pizza 64 — the first American store for the franchise — which opened last week.
“It is a pizza place which has a little bit of an Indian-infused taste to it, but it caters to everyone,” Dhillon said. “When thinking about coming to America, there was no better place.”
Dhillon’s father Roop is the CEO and founder of the company. He was on hand, along with Kevin’s brother Devan. Pizza 64 is named for the street the first Pizza 64 opened in Surrey, British Columbia in 2009.
The location (9525 N. Sommerville Drive #111 in Fresno) took over the former Dominion’s Pizza location.
Indian, and Yes Canadian Pizza on the Menu
The menu features 33 types of pizzas in three different categories: specialty, signature, and gourmet. Prices range from $12.99 for a small to $29.99 for an extra large.
“Canada, food wise, we have very special tastes. We have more lighter versions of pizza, but we also know that we want to get into America and all the different states here, too. So we have some of our pizzas, our very own Canadian touch to it, such as the Canadian pizza. And then we have pizzas that also will have a little bit Indian side, too, such as butter chicken,” Dhillon said.
The Canadian features pepperoni, cheese blend, bacon and mushroom. Although not listed, Dhillon says Canadian bacon is on there too.
“Canadians, we love our pepperoni and bacon,” Dhillon said.
Indian-flavored pizzas include meat and vegetarian options.
“The Indian pizza community … we love our pizzas as well,” Dhillon said. “We have our butter chicken which has a butter chicken with our special sauce. And it has green peppers and it has our special traditional spices in it too. So when you taste the pizza, you can tell the Indian spices are and also mixed into it.”
The vegetarian pizza offering at Pizza 64. (GV Wire/David Taub)
Dhillon said the first American store will have to make adjustments.
Pizzas, of course, will be measured by inches and not centimeters. And, they had to add an extra size.
“When we came out here, we decided to bring an extra large pizza as well, which we did not have,” Dhillon said explaining that “large” is the biggest size north of the border.
There is a TV near the front counter — Pizza 64 is takeout only. But, if there is a hockey game at the same time as a football game, Dhillon said the choice is easy.
“Being Canadian, we do prioritize hockey, but we know this is a this is an American location,” Dhillon said. “We’ll put on our football game if our customers want to watch.”
Pizza 64 plans to expand further in the U.S. The website lists Oakland and Pleasanton as future locations.