Thor & Kimm Thorson moved to Brainerd, MN in 1987 to open a Giovanni’s Pizza restaurant at 625 Oak Street. Over the next seven years they built a booming business in Brainerd and surrounding areas until tragedy struck in the form of a fire that completely destroyed everything.
Determined to keep jobs for their employees and award winning pizzas in the homes of their terrific customers, they purchased a small USDA meat market to temporarily operate the restaurant during construction. Once re-located in the mall, they were encouraged by customers of nearby taverns and resorts to make their delicious pizzas frozen - so they could be available to customers of those businesses as well as the restaurant.
Giovanni’s Premium Frozen Pizza was born! The year was 1994.
Starting with one tavern customer, “The Spalding House” in Crosby, MN. Thor hit the road in a Nissan pickup with coolers full of frozen pizzas…..all made by hand with all the special ingredients and mounds of cheese that made the restaurant pizzas so famous. Soon we had 17 customers! WOW, then 24, then 75, 100, 200, 400,….you get the idea.
Today Giovanni’s employs about 10 part time and 4 full time employees. Jerry DeChaine, plant manager and frozen pizza guru, has been working for Thor and Kimm since the early days at the restaurant. Jerry made the first 30 pizzas with Thor for the Spalding House, (it took us about 2 hours to make them) and has worked his magic on the hundreds of thousands since then.
Today, we deliver in 4 states with 3 trucks of our own, and a a growing number of valuable distributors who carry our great pizzas to their best customers throughout the Midwest.
You can still enjoy the Giovanni's restaurant at 6th & Oak Street. This is where it all began for Giovanni's Frozen Pizza! The friendly staff invites you in to enjoy the award winning Pizzas, Pastas, & Wings. The whole family will love the atmoshpere! Call them at 218 828 4978 for delivery or directions.
Several people of note have helped us grow to where we are. Including Chris Leonard, (manufacturers Rep), Bryan Selisker, Shawn O’Rourke, Tom Hofius, Krystal DeChaine, Matt Thompson, Reg Nelson (retail phenom), Phil Crown, Jake Yates, and most recently Jamie Ladac... LadouCe… uh, LadoCeurrrrrr. Oh heck, MEAT, as well as the many wonderful employees we’ve had over the years.
We hope you’ll take that plunge and try one of our delicious pizzas. We’re thin crust and loaded with Toppings. You won’t believe it’s a frozen pizza!
Thor & Kimm Thorson
Giovanni’s Frozen Pizza