A popular restaurant on Île Jesus, Le Vieux Four de Laval celebrates its 40the Anniversary at a party held on June 15.
The occasion was attended by many friends and loyal customers of the restaurant, it was a question of recalling the many memories that lived at 5070, Boulevard Lévesque Est in Saint-Vincent-de-Paul.
“It was a big challenge that we took on brilliantly. It was a unified evening that turned into a magical moment,” owner Mari France Manago said of the event.
Mari France Manago took over the family restaurant in 2000. However, her parents, Antonio and Pierrette Manago, have been working there since it opened in 1983, marking the arrival of wood-oven-cooked pizzas on the island.
“I remember the day before the opening when we ironed the tablecloths and prepared the place with relatives, she noted. We were incognito, but everyone else came in.
At the time, she herself did not envision a career in the restaurant business. Instead, she is considering becoming an actress or working in the arts. However, one sentence from his mother changed everything: “Make this restaurant your theatre”.
“After that, there was nothing stopping me, the owner assured. I did all kinds of themed parties. I was crazy. I always believed in my vision. It helped me a lot to succeed.”
In his view, the loyalty of employees and customers is the heart of this Laval company’s success.
Mari France Manago also emphasized the longevity of her manager Johan and her husband Martin, who have been with the company for 36 and 30 years respectively.
“We always welcome customers like family,” she adds. Many people will tell you that we are their second family, their workplace or the place they go to when they go to celebrate something. We have now reached three generations of customers.
Many memories have been created in 40 years in business. Of these, Ms. Manago mentioned 10e Restaurant Anniversary.
“My mother always told me that she wanted to go to a white ball,” she recalls. “I organized it without him knowing. The employees were dressed in white dresses. The Fiori orchestra was in the restaurant. Everything was perfect. My parents started crying when we arrived.
She also recalled closing a section of Levesque Boulevard East for the 10 a.m. event. Traditional dances, sausages cooked on site, inflatable structures and ice cream stands: it’s all there.
“We simulated the year 2000 early,” she said. My kids dressed up as robots and the employees were in foil. It is unique when customers enter the restaurant.
We should also note the Guinness World Record attempt for the largest number of pizzas served in record time, resulting in long queues.
The future of the restaurant
When asked about the future of the restaurant, Mari France Manago laughs that she doesn’t want to be the owner as she celebrates 50e Anniversary. She believes she has “come full circle” during past ceremonies.
“That doesn’t stop us from continuing to give ourselves body and soul as long as we’re in the restaurant. We’re passionate and we’ve never given up. I think that’s been our strength since the beginning,” she adds.