Locally-owned pizzeria Bella Noella’s moved onto St. Paul Street this August, after approximately seven years of serving the downtown community on SummerStreet.
The move is a significant one; while Summer Street is in the core of the downtown community, it is very difficult to find, and does not receive much foot traffic. The street somewhat resembles an alleyway, and many people mistake it for an alley or a parking lot before they realize that it is a street that contains several well-known and prominent local businesses, including Smoke’s Poutinerie. The restaurant is now located on St. Paul, the central and most visible street in downtown St. Catharines, which an exciting change for local business owner Brittany Manzer, who co-owns the restaurant.
“On Summer Street, we were really tucked away” said Manzer. “Downtown has been expanding, with the Meridian Center and the new Performing Arts centre, and we just wanted to be a lot closer to it.”
Manzer has co-owned the business since August 2013, but it has been a part of the downtown business scene for much longer. Manzer explained that the business was started in 2007 by an owner named Steve, and was then purchased several years later by a second set of owners, before Manzer and her partner purchased it in 2013. The restaurant’s name was inspired by the names of the original owner’s children, and has stuck despite the several changes in ownership.
Bella Noella’s is well-known for the uniqueness of their products. They offer a variety of unconventional types of pizza and menu items.
“We have so many different options. We sell a lot of vegan pizzas and our pierogies are popular” said Manser. “There are a lot of things that most pizza places don’t offer.”
Bella Noella’s has been very popular with the city’s vegan community because of their vegan options. They’re one of several downtown stores that have chosen to capitalize on the established downtown vegan community. However, they are also well known for other offerings as well. One of the things that Manser said makes their pizza unique is how much of it is made in the store.
“We make most of our own ingredients” Manser said. “We cook most of our own meats, including our pulled pork and vegan pulled pork, and we make our own sauce and pierogies.”
Manser said they are constantly trying to expand their options and offer new selections, both vegan and otherwise. She said they are currently working on making meatless balls, which are a vegan equivalent to meatballs. They have also recently started serving pasta and vegan cannoli.
Manser’s history with the company demonstrates their local roots and focus. Manser began working for the restaurant as a young employee in a job that she found through the John Howard society. After a few years of working as an employee of the company, she is now the co-owner. Manser hopes to continue serving the growing downtown community in a new, more visible location close to the new centres that are opening in the area.
Bella Noella’s is located at 159 St.Paul St. in Downtown St. Catharines. More information is available on their Facebook page, or a t bellanoellaspizza.com.