It’s a real ‘family business’ at Port Alice Pizza. (Debra Lynn photo)

It’s a real ‘family business’ at Port Alice Pizza. (Debra Lynn photo)

‘Port Alice Pizza’ reopens with new owners

COVID-19 boredom prompted Lee to consider taking on the pizzeria

WRITTEN BY DEBRA LYNN

Frustrated by the lack of dining and takeout options in Port Alice, Tammy Lee decided to rectify the problem by opening her own pizza place, “Port Alice Pizza.”

A resident of Port Alice for five years, Lee is actually taking over the pizzeria located in the Port Alice shopping mall after the previous management was unable to continue due to illness.

Lee grew up mainly in Penticton. She met her husband “cruising down the river channel.”

Penticton sits between two big lakes, Skaha lake and Okanagan lake. People float on tubes and floaties on a man-made river channel that connects them, which is Penticton’s “most popular thing to do.” They had two boys and a girl before Lee was 30.

She has a diverse background in business. While working as a part-time waitress, she sold Avon and Tupperware from her home. In 1987, she was given her mother’s chocolate business which she ran for 20 years.

In 2006, Lee took a hairdressing course, opening her own mobile salon. Six months later she owned her own salon in Summerland.

A couple years later her husband got a job offer in Saskatchewan and they ended up moving there. She bought a property management business, which she found out she actually hated.

She passed it over to her son and then bought a bakery, noting she fell in love with baking.

“The muffins, cookies, pies, cakes, and oh the wedding cakes were the best… but I hated the early mornings,” she said.

Missing the temperate Okanagan, the family sold the bakery a few years later and moved back.

While they lived in a fifth wheel, Lee started helping a woman produce wire wrapped jewelry and going to big events. She then bought her out and still makes “Steampunk Jewelry” to this day.

Her husband, Rick, worked at the arena during this time and saw an opening for the arena in Port Alice. They sold everything but “the clothes on our backs” and ended up moving yet again. They were in Port Alice for a mere six months when the arena shut down because of the pulp mill’s foreclosure. Then came COVID-19, causing even more issues.

“The thought of moving yet again never crossed our minds, as living here is like living a dream,” she said. “The area is so beautiful and my word that I think bests describes the area is ‘Jurassic,’ with its huge ferns and semi-tropical forests. Nope, never moving again. Unless I win the lottery.”

COVID-19 boredom prompted Lee to consider taking on the pizzeria. She said she kept thinking that it “can’t be that hard after the bakery, but it’s scary, too.”

She had worked in a “pizza by the slice” place when she was a teen. Rick had previously managed a Pizza Hut. After enjoying running the bakery and not being a morning person, Port Alice Pizza looked like it would be the perfect fit.

Her daughter, Amanda, will be joining her at the pizza place: “we make a great team, being best friends and all.”


Have a story tip? Email: editor@northislandgazette.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BusinessLocal Business