For the past few years pizza has been a passion for Bradford West Gwillimbury resident Dylan Braico, but after a trip to Italy he decided to go all in and start Little Braico’s Pizza, a homemade pizza business.
Braico takes orders online through Facebook and crafts pies using his recipe for residents to come pick up at his home on Turner Court.
“I had been watching a bunch of videos of people doing little pop-ups and I decided why don’t I try that, I’ve got nothing to lose and I love doing it,” he said. “So I posted it for fun one day on Facebook and people said they’d love to try it. That first day it blew up and I got over 11 orders.”
For the last two years, Braico has been making pizzas just as a passion project, but said last year he went to Italy for a month and that inspired him to make pizza for others.
“I went to a bunch of restaurants and learned from a bunch of people out there,” he said. “I created my own recipe and I do all my dough by hand, it’s traditional Italian style. There’s a crazy difference now from the beginning with this, you just learn so many different techniques and learn how to be faster and ready for the next order. Everyday it develops even more.”
Braico asks those ordering a pizza to pre-order, so he knows how many he needs to make and has the time to follow his recipe.
“I like to do a 24-hour fermentation with my dough,” he explained. “So I do it all by hand and let it rest for a few hours and then take it and knead it before putting it in the fridge for 24 hours. It comes out prior to their order pickup and these pizzas, once they’re out and ready to go, they take just 90 seconds in the oven to go in and out.”
The logo on Little Braico’s Pizza is a king holding a pizza. It was inspired by an Italian card game called Scopa.
“I actually got it tattooed while I was in Italy and when I was looking for a logo I knew it would be that,” Braico said. “One of the cards is a king holding a sun and I wanted something that would represent my nonno (grandfather). I wanted my logo to be that king holding a pizza because playing cards and cooking pizza always brought me and my nonno together."
For Braico, it's been a dream come true to do something he loves for other people in the community.
“It’s for fun, but now I post every week to take orders and I have regulars who order every week and new people who come in every once in a while who want to try it,” he said. “That’s where I’m at with it, it’s just for fun and I love doing it.”
The support he’s seen from the community has blown Braico away.
“It’s been amazing,” he said, “and to be honest, I have some orders that don’t turn out perfect. I tell them don’t give me anything and it’s free because I’m still learning. But they tell me it’s still just as good and they don’t care if it has little imperfections because that’s what makes it special. The support has been remarkable and it pushes me everyday to do it better.”
For now, Braico’s love of making pizza is why he does it and if the business grows into something more, he welcomes the challenge.
“If I can do it for fun and it keeps me happy, I’m going to keep doing it,” he said. “If it’s something that can go somewhere one day, then I’d love to pursue it because it is something I love doing. I don’t see it as work, I see it as something I enjoy doing more than anything. Since the day I put my first pizza in the oven, I’ve loved it.”