Dockside pizza delivery for a good cause

people enjoying fresh pizza on the deck with a glass of white wine Photo by Brannon_Naito / Shutterstock

The idea started as a joke. After Paul Turner’s friends on Bay Lake, Ont., Rob and Patti Tilley, built a wood-fired pizza oven nearly three years earlier, Paul’s teenaged son, Jack, suggested the family start a pop-up pizza joint.

“We all laughed at the thought of pizza delivery by speedboat,” says Paul. Until they stopped laughing and thought, Why not? And why not use the cash for a good cause? “A local public school had lost a grant that funded its breakfast program. It was an easy decision as to where we’d donate the money.” 

So, last year, the Turner family of four, along with friends and neighbours on the lake, grouped together to pull off a one-night, lake-wide pizza party. They made and delivered 44 pizzas in four hours. And the service was excellent: “From oven to dock it was three minutes,” says Paul. “It was kind of amazing.”

The team was organized. The kids went dock-to-dock ahead of time handing out order forms; Paul’s wife, Jennifer, made a spreadsheet to track the orders; and “We kept things simple,” says Paul. “We only offered a choice of four toppings: cheese, pepperoni, green pepper, and pineapple. Because I like pineapple.”

Paul bought the dough and sauce and ordered the boxes online, but everything else was donated. Ultimately, Bay Lake Pizza raised $600 for the school. 

Paul was surprised by how many people ordered pizza, but not by how many people offered to help. “That’s just the nature of our community.”

This story was originally published as part of the collection “Better Together,” featuring inspiring cottager community initiatives, in the June/July 2020 issue of Cottage Life magazine.

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