Story Behind Boston Pizza & Copy-Cat Pizza Dough Recipe

The Story Behind Boston Pizza :

Jim Treliving first purchased the Boston Pizza in Penticton, B.C., Canada 🇨🇦.  After that he partnered up with investor Don Spence. They then went out and purchased the Boston Pizza Franchise rights in British Columbia only, except one owned by Ron Coyle in Vancouver and one in Edmonton. 

It’s Ron Coyle who started up Boston Pizza from the get-go, in Edmonton, Alberta, downtown on Jasper Ave in 1963. Back then it was called Boston Pizza Spaghetti House. Ron named his pizza restaurant Boston Pizza Spaghetti House, because ( back then) Edmonton didn’t have its own hockey team.  Apparently, it was a Boston fan, so he decided to name his restaurant after his favourite hockey team, Boston Bruins. He knew the sports minded Edmontonians would come to his restaurant to watch the game. 

Which they did ! 

Interesting, Jim Treliving began his career as a RCMP constable with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

In 1968, while still with the RCMP, Treliving noticed the growing popularity of Boston Pizza and purchased the rights to open a restaurant in Penticton, British Columbia. With the help of investor Don Spencer, he was able to purchase the B.C. Franchise  for 3 million dollars at first. 

During that same year, the headquarters of Boston Pizza was moved from Edmonton, Alberta to Richmond, British Columbia where it is found today.

While in Penticton, he met George Melville, a chartered accountant. Melville acted as Treliving’s business consultant for four years until 1973, at which time he too became Treliving’s partner in the business.

In 1983, Treliving and Melville acquired the Boston Pizza chain from then-owner Ron Coyle.

The two then invested in 15 of their restaurants to begin the franchisees, converted one restaurant to a corporate training restaurant. By 1995 the chain had grown to 95 restaurants in Western Canada with sales in excess of $110 million (CAD)

So – it looks like Jim Treliving had investor help from the very start, in order to buy this large investment from Ron Coyle. I believe that’s why Jim helps out other start-up businesses as an investor on the Canadian Program “ Dragons Den”.  It’s a similar to the American show “Dragons Den”. 

Jim Treliving now lives in Texas as he still monitors his Boston Pizza Franchise with his friend George Melville.  The main office of the Boston Pizza franchise still resides in Vancouver, B.C. 



  • 1 1/4 cup of lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 1/2 packages of active dry yeast
  • 3 cups of flour ( 00 Style Pizza Flour is better and exact)
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon of cornmeal ( gives that crunch )


  • Take lukewarm water ( no higher then 110 degrees F) . Stir in 1 tablespoon of sugar and sprinkle the 1 1/2 packages of yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes. 
  • After 10 minutes, place in your mixer with dough hook.
  • Start up mixer on low and add 1/4 cup olive oil to yeast mixer.
  • Now add the flour, salt and 2 tablespoons of cornmeal . ( You can use a large bowl if you don’t have a mixer).
  • Combined and Mix for 10 minutes. It should look “elasticity” . Using a mixer is much easier then kneading your dough mixer by hand. But you can do this by hand, like my grandpa Varze always did. Just use your mixer and make your life easier.  
  • Now transfer your dough into a large oiled bowl and cover it with a dry cloth. Let it rise in a warm area to double the size. ( approximately 45 minutes to 70 minutes, depending how cold your kitchen is). 

TIP :  To find this nice warm area, what I do is turn on my oven to 190 degrees F and leave a small crack of the oven door open. Metal spoon on the side will give you the opening you’ll need to hold of the oven door open. Place the bowl of dough covered with the dry cloth on top of the stove. Let sit for 45 minutes to 70 minutes – just so it’s double the size. 

  • Once your Boston Pizza Dough has doubled in size, take out of bowl onto floured surface.  Gently punch down and roll into a nice round ball. 
  • Get your favourite large pizza pan ( or a rectangular baking pan will do ) and lightly oil with olive oil. 
  • Begin spreading out your Boston Pizza Dough starting from the centre of your well oiled or sprayed Pizza Pan,. This will give you one extremely large pizza OR cut into 4’s for individual pizzas) . Press out with fingers and keep going until the pan is filled.
  • If you want you can freeze your pizza dough for another day or begin to make your homemade Boston pizza at home. I guess you could call this a “Copy Cat Boston Pizza Dough by Chef Bari” 
  • Add your toppings, such as sliced pepperoni or whatever is your desire. Of course, top that with 100 % of mozzarella cheese. The full fat will give you that beautiful stringy stretchy tip of cheese. 
  • Finally, sprinkle on the outside edges of the pizza dough with more cornmeal. I also like to finish off with some fresh sprigs of basil ( See my photo below). 
  • Place in preheat oven at 425 degrees F and let cook for 15 – 20 minutes (depending on your oven ) .


Chef Bari 



Please take a minute to purchase my cookbook “Canadian Recipes of the Great White North”


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