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Tuesday February 28th, 2012  
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   Volume 82 - Issue 8   email:   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
"There is a lot of really good skiable terrain available to us to access."
- Dave Morrison  
Pass PowderKeg Manager   


Kimberley Massey photo
(L to R): Kulwant and Shivraj Dhillon, Joshua Wenisch and Amber Dhillon prepare tasty pizzas for their customers at Five Rivers Pizza in Blairmore on Wednesday, February 22nd.
Five Rivers Pizza, the newest pizza place to open its doors in Crowsnest Pass, has been offering unique and delicious pizzas to the community for the past three weeks.
Owned and operated by local couple Kulwant and Shivraj Dhillon - with the help of their children Amber and Saajan and Amber’s boyfriend Joshua Wenisch, Five Rivers boasts an expansive pizza menu, featuring 35 different kinds of pizza, as well as wings, salads and pastas, with a different pizza special every month.
All pizzas are made with fresh ingredients, including homemade dough and sauces, with options such as soy cheese for lactose intolerant customers.
“We have a lot of options,” said Kulwant.
The former Vancouver resident moved to Crowsnest Pass in December 2005, followed by his family in May 2006, and he and Shivraj spent the next six years owning and operating the Highwood Motel in Blairmore.
Last year, Kulwant experienced the desire to open up his own pizza place, something he had never done before.
“Me and my brother and my mom all told him he was crazy at first,” said Amber of her father’s decision, adding that the first few pizzas the family taste tested were less than appetizing.
Over the next several months, Kulwant honed his skills, participating in training in Vancouver and spending three months perfecting his dough and sauce recipes before opening his first pizza restaurant, Rockies Pizza, at the Highwood.
“From the first pizza to the pizzas he makes now, it’s a world of difference,” said Amber with a laugh.
In addition to serving pizzas, Shivraj came up with the idea to incorporate Indian food into the restaurant’s menu, which was met with much success.
“It was a funny combination but it worked and people loved it,” said Amber, adding the business did very well until the restaurant and motel were sold last summer.
“It was going great but someone wanted to buy the hotel and also keep the restaurant, so we had no choice.”
Kulwant and Shivraj proceeded to take the next six months off to travel to Vancouver and home to India to visit family, as well as taking a breather after working hard at the Highwood for six years.
“My parents needed a break after running the hotel for 24 hours a day for six years and living there too,” said Amber.

The couple then began searching for a suitable location in which to reopen the restaurant, ultimately choosing a prime location in the Crowsnest Mall on 20th Avenue in Blairmore.
Kulwant said the location provides convenience to customers, as they can place an order and then go shopping at The Bargain Shop or Sobeys, or rent a movie while they wait for their pizza.
Amber said the success the business has experienced in the first couple weeks since opening has far exceeded the family’s expectations.
“We did not expect it to be this busy at all – it hasn’t slowed down,” she said.
“It’s been so great to have the whole community of Crowsnest Pass coming in and supporting us.”
Amber, who lives and works as a full-time dental assistant in Lethbridge during the week and comes home on the weekends to help her parents, came up with the idea for the name “Five Rivers Pizza”, due to a desire for the restaurant to retain an Indian flare.
“I wanted to find a name that would incorporate the Indian theme but not be too obvious,” she said.
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Kimberley Massey photo
When considering the name, Amber thought of her parents’ home state of Punjab, which translates to “Five Rivers” in English.
The name was perfect, she said, as it also works well in a community like the Pass which has several rivers flowing through it.
While the family no longer serves Indian food, many of their pizzas feature an Indian influence, such as the Butter Chicken and Tandoori Chicken pizzas.
For more information, including hours and prices, call 403-564-4545, visit Five Rivers Pizza on Facebook, or stop by the restaurant, located at 11001 20th Avenue in Blairmore, next to The Bargain Shop.
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