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Merritt pizza shop can't get pineapple for its pies

Pineapple pizza, a Canadian invention, has long been a topic of debate among pizza fans.
Pineapple pizza, a Canadian invention, has long been a topic of debate among pizza fans.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Yaki Joe's Pizza -Merritt

A shortage of pineapple experienced by a Merritt pizza shop has customers debating whether the fruit should even be added to the Italian staple in the first place.

Yaki Joe’s Pizza owner Soyna Garcia said in the last month they’ve been dealing with shortages including flour and pineapple. As of Friday, Dec. 10, they were completely out of pineapple and don't know when they'll see their next order from their supplier.

“I’m not sure why, I’m assuming it’s because of the highways being washed out and the trains as well, you know, stuff being stuck in ports and not being unloaded but they haven’t really given us a straight answer on when they’re going to get anything, they have no idea,” Garcia said.

The Coquihalla Highway is currently closed and Highway 3, Highway 99 and Highway 9, the only other open connections from the Lower Mainland to the Interior without travelling through the United States, are only open to essential travel. Global supply chain problems due to the pandemic have also rocked local businesses.

READ MORE: B.C. turkey farmers struggling to get birds to Kamloops, Okanagan for Christmas

A flour refinery was wiped out in Chilliwack, so the shortage of flour makes sense but she isn’t sure about the pineapple, Garcia said.

The notice about the lack of pineapple posted to the pizza place’s Facebook page and in a popular Merritt Facebook group also sparked a debate among residents, some of whom said it doesn’t belong on pizza in the first place. Pineapple pizza is a very Canadian pizza invention. The classic Hawaiian pizza was invented by Greek-Canadian Sam Panopoulos at the Satellite Restaurant in 1962, according to TIME.

The fruit has long divided pizza lovers. In 2017, Iceland's president jokingly denounced it, sparking an internet-wide debate. Shortly afterwards, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted he stood by the Ontario creation.


Garcia is a pineapple pizza fan and they typically go through two large cans in a day at the Merritt pizzeria. About 70% of their pizzas have pineapple on them. In a week, they consume about 15 large cans.

She acknowledged not everyone is a fan.

“Maybe people don’t like that sweet taste,” she said.

The shortage of pineapple is nothing new for Yaki Joe's.

READ MORE: Kamloops, Okanagan retailers experiencing shortages amid supply chain issues

“This has kind of been going on since COVID-19 started. Certain products have been discontinued and I haven’t even seen them back in two years,” Garcia said.

Their Cisco orders are still coming through, however.

“We’re lucky we still get cheese and meat,” she said.

A boil water advisory was only recently lifted in Merritt following destructive floods, so the shop also wasn’t offering salads until Dec. 10.

Save-On-Foods and Walmart did not immediately respond to a request about pineapple shortages in grocery stores.

“I just hope we get some soon, I thought about doing the fresh stuff but we just don’t have the time to hand dice that much pineapple too, we’d probably run out of that too, we’d use it all,” Garcia said.

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