When Ray Russell (Founder, CEO – Freshslice) moved to Canada from Iran in 1987, he had almost no money and just a distant cousin in Montreal. He decided to leave his home and come to Canada straight after high school to avoid being a part of a war he did not believe in.
With just $8 in his pocket and a lack of English or French speech, Ray embarked on a tough road to success in his new life. He worked in construction, and soon moved to the West Coast. But when a downturn in 1999 hit the real estate industry, he found himself out of work.
Instead of being disheartened and after a conversation with a friend who owned a pizzeria, Ray explored the market to find a niche for his own pizza business, Freshslice.
Freshslice Pizza was the first to introduce the concept of pizza by the slice on the Vancouver food scene. The flagship pizzeria was established at the corner of Commercial and Broadway in Vancouver. Their specialty was offering quality healthier food at great prices, and providing outstanding service.
Freshslice used a secret multigrain dough recipe for production in their centralized commissary. Ray turned to his engineering experience and invented the dough system to help reduce costs for franchisees, by providing sheeted dough to all its restaurants. This system helped consistent quality and 1,000 percent savings on dough making labor costs and efficiencies. These savings were passed on to customers through competitive pricing. Freshslice also used fresh ingredients and perfected the sauce recipe over 20 years, offering recipes for every type of pizza-loving palette.
With growing popularity, Freshslice grew from one location in Vancouver to over 74 locations across Canada with 20 new locations under construction. Its franchisees enjoy the benefit of ‘zero’ percent royalties and ‘zero’ percent advertising fees. Over the years,
Ray has won several Consumers’ Choice Awards for Freshslice, a business that continues to grow and succeed.
Ray also believes in giving back to the community that became his home after leaving his war-torn homeland. A sports lover himself, Ray launched the foundation Freshslice Cares to support kids and families who can’t afford sporting equipment in BC. Freshslice Cares mandate is to “Help Kids be Kids” through sports. Freshslice’s mission is “To Care about Our Guests, Our planet, our Brand & our Charity Freshslice Cares”
To learn more about Freshslice and its growing franchises, please visit: