For more than 20 years, Stanley Reid (lovingly known as Stan) had been tossing up hot pizzas fresh out of the oven in North Burnaby — first at a Pizza Factory franchise, then at the casual sports bar/independent pizza joint.
Now, after all these years, he is hanging up his apron for good.
It was in 1999 when a young 45-year-old Reid opened up a Pizza Factory franchise in the Burnaby Heights neighbourhood.
Within 10 years, Reid expanded, purchasing the adjacent building and building an independent pizza joint that the community now knows and loves as "Stan's Pizza Joint."
From January 2009 to July 2023, Stan's has given the community a lot of love — and pizzas — from their best-selling Hawaiian and the "Big Meat Feast" to their breakfast and dessert pies.
Now, Reid is stepping away from the business he's built from the ground up along with his business partner, Judith Gauge, paving way for new ownership to continue the legacy.
"I'm getting a little older — I'm 70 now and I still have the energy of a 25-year-old, but it's a little less than it used to be," Reid said.
"And to be honest, COVID-19 was really hard on us, as it was for everybody. And it was difficult to be as profitable as we were before COVID, so it was a combination of things: my love for music, wanting to slow down and play golf and music. It was a good time to make a change."
While Reid is retiring, Stan's Pizza Joint is here to stay.
Marco Segovic, a Burnaby resident who's been frequenting Stan's for over a decade as a customer, will be taking over the reins, serving the same delicacies that Stan's has created over the last couple decades.
Reid said Segovic's sister had taken ownership of another beloved Burnaby restaurant, "Little Billy's" back in March.
"It was definitely bittersweet," Reid said about the passing of the pan.
"It was difficult and emotional. I even worked with my one of my sons and my daughter in the kitchen over the years. I was very emotional about leaving it all behind. But I'm adjusting and embracing my future now."
"I'd like to think that it's in good hands," he added.
"He's not afraid of hard work, and he wants to see [Stan's] thrive and do well. And I'm confident that's going to happen."
For Reid, retirement comes with excitement about the future as well as the sadness of parting ways with the community — the friendships and relationships built, interactions with the community.
"They've become part of my family and I’ll miss them," he explained.
"I want to thank the entire community, Burnaby Heights Merchants Association, for all the loyalty and support over the years. It's been overwhelming, and I wish everyone the best."
But it might not be the last of Reid that Burnaby community will see.
He will be appearing with his band, Wicked Fun, at the Admiral Pub once every month (next performance is on Sept. 16).
And of course, his legacy — the piping hot pizzas made with their made-in-house dough using a "special spice blend" and signature sauces — can be savoured — at the same pizza joint the community has loved for years starting in September.