Vincenzo Guzzo – “made in Canada” throughout his business interests

Vincenzo Guzzo

Vincenzo Guzzo, the man behind the Cinémas Guzzo multiplex empire and who can be seen as one of the judges for the past three years on the popular CBC TV reality series Dragons’ Den, is quite the enthusiastic booster when it comes to locally produced consumer products, and especially locally run businesses.

The seasoned  entrepreneur, philanthropist, and TV personality is expanding his “made in Canada” focus to reflect across many of his business interests, starting with his chain of movie theatres through his “Mr. Sunshine” line of products.

Vincenzo Guzzo aka Mr. Sunshine

“I got the nickname back in 2018, when I started on Dragons’ Den. It grew in popularity , so I decided to develop a brand around it,” said Mr. Guzzo during a recent phone interview. “I often say ‘charity begins at home’; my focus on using more locally produced products throughout my business interests reflects that. . We started planning the initiative in 2019, and when the COVID-19 pandemic hit us a year later, that local focus became a priority for me.”

The initiative was  launched this spring with selling Québec-made chocolate and Ontario-made popcorn throughout his Cinémas Guzzo chain across Québec & as well as online. He is also expanding by introducing other Canadian-made food products that consumers will be able to purchase at grocery stores across the country. This includes a line of frozen pizzas from his chain of Giulietta Neopolitan pizzerias, frozen cheesecake cones & cannoli, a 100% butter cream cake icing line that is manufactured by Good Pantry (which introduced their product on a past broadcast of Dragons’ Den), and a freezer-to-shelf brand of cookie dough.

Vincenzo Guzzo aka Mr. Sunshine

And now a word about the Mr. Sunshine brand of popcorn. Mr. Guzzo states that there will be a total of eight unique flavours of kettle and candied popcorn, which were inspired and/or developed by members of his family. “My daughter runs her own tie-dye company, which is how we came up with the ‘Rossella’s Tie-Dye’ flavour; my wife is the queen of French Toast, and that’s how we came up with the vanilla, cinnamon & maple flavoured ‘Mother Maria’s French Toast’ popcorn; I’m a big fan of truffles, which is why we have the Giulietta Italian Truffle flavor; the chocolate-banana Choco Nana popcorn is my favourite, because I have a potassium deficiency, and it’s only natural that I like banana flavour very much; NottInBianco Sea Salt & White Balsamic Vinegar popcorn gives you that vinegar tang combined with the sweetness of the balsamic; Ruddy Lad’s 911 Sriracha is a flavour that’s hotter than Texas BBQ, because Sriracha is more exotic and gives you that exotic, stronger essence of spice,” he said. Movie-Style Butter Flavoured and Parmigiano round out the Mr. Sunshine popcorn menu.

Mr. Guzzo’s quest for manufacturing, promoting, and using products made in Canada throughout his many business interests is more than just a movement to strengthen the Canadian economy after 15 months of the COVID pandemic. It is a way to strengthen Canada as a country.

“If we learned anything as a result of the pandemic, it’s that many countries’ priorities and talents are not the same, and that they cannot meet the needs of the rest of the world. By promoting the manufacturing and selling of locally made products, we can help local entrepreneurs, schools, and sports teams, and create many jobs for many people,” he said. “And what I mean by jobs is, I mean varying degrees of jobs that don’t necessarily have to be all white-collar ones.”

“If we bring back more production to Canada, we’ll be much better off,” he added. “We would be able to keep the wealth in our own country. The idea is to be locally-minded, but always keeping our eyes on international markets as well.”

The Mr. Sunshine line of newly-introduced popcorn products are now available for purchase across Canada by going to www.mrsunshine.com.

Stuart Nulman
By: Stuart Nulman – [email protected]

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