Meet our Tenants of The Month: John, Carol and Bernie Stobie, owners of Stobie Pizza located at 484 Richmond Street.
“We were living on the East Coast in a small town called Lower Sackville, NS when we got the news that our Grandmother was terminally ill. It was the summer of 1997 that we came to London, Ontario to say our final goodbyes. Once here, my brother John was checking out the downtown scene when he came to the realization that there were not many options for late night food. It was then that he convinced our father to take an early retirement from the Canadian Armed Forces after serving for 27 years and to believe in his dream to open a pizza restaurant.
My father, Bernie, and brother, John, started their search at Richmond and Oxford and headed Southbound to find the perfect location. Countless landlords immediately declined our interest in opening a pizza place until reaching 484 Richmond St where they met a man by the name of Shmuel Farhi. Mr. Farhi admired the father/son duo and believed in their vision. Later that day they signed a lease at the spot that would now be known as a landmark to many Londoners, Stobie’s Pizza. Within 6 weeks, we completed all renovations with the help of family and friends, and the doors were open for business.
I was 19 years old still living in N.S with my mother, Ann, as she was in the process of selling our family home to relocate to London, Ontario. A couple weeks after opening, I received the call that we were getting busy and my help was needed immediately. Days later, I was on a plane to a city that I had very little knowledge of. I rolled my suitcase into the back of the store and within 10 minutes, was making pizzas alongside my father and brother. It was a grueling 8 months for all of us working 140 hours/week, being open from 11am – 4am, 7 days a week. Countless times we would fall asleep at red lights and have occasional arguments, but we persevered and stuck together as a family. Mr. Farhi always admired the fact that we were a family trying to make something of ourselves and treated us like we were a part of his.
Now in our 20th year of business, we continue to grow but we’ve faced many obstacles along the way from the loss of my mother, Ann, to the daily demands of running a small family business. We’ve met some amazing patrons and staff, including those of Farhi Holdings that would later become friends of our family. It’s amazing to see some of the high school students we served when we first opened are now bringing their own families in to experience the taste of Stobie’s Pizza. We are forever grateful for those that make it possible and to Mr. Farhi for being an incredibly helpful landlord that believed in our family.”
Congratulations to Stobie’s Pizza on 20 years of service in our community. We are proud of the success you have achieved, and honoured to call you friends and valued members of the Farhi Holdings Family.