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Working Through Sight Loss While Pursuing a Passion for Pizza

Giorgio Taverniti runs an award-winning pizzeria in Toronto. In this post, he discusses working through losing his sight while pursuing his passion.

Giorgio smiling and serving up a loaded pizza on a wooden paddle in his pizzeria

I’m Giorgio and my family and I run a pizzeria here in Toronto called Frank’s Pizza House. I’m married with six kids – and there’s never a dull moment, I can promise you that.

My goal has always been to make pizzas and share my passion for pizza-making until I can retire. Now, in addition to that, I’m looking forward to many new adventures because I’m losing my vision to advanced glaucoma.

It’s sounds bad, but it’s not – I was diagnosed with glaucoma in my late teens. Now, at 47, a few things have started to become foggy. I’m losing the vision in my right eye and most of my peripheral vision in my left eye.

I’ve only been open with my vision loss in the past few months. I could definitely say that’s because I was embarrassed – I would walk into objects or not see someone standing next to me. People would often ask if I’d been drinking.

But I’ve overcome that. Glaucoma has never controlled my life before, so why start now?

Being an entrepreneur and surrounding myself with positive, like-minded people has been key. I want people to know that this is only the beginning for anyone going through something like this. I find when I challenge myself and set goals, things always are more positive.

For example, at my pizzeria, we’ve always offered our pizza dough for sale. My new project – with some help – is going to be putting our pizza dough into supermarkets.

It’s not going to be easy – but neither is not being able to see. I just keep in mind that things may not always be easy, but they’re always possible.

Giorgio Taverniti and his family run an award-winning pizzeria in Toronto. Giorgio attended the well-known Italian culinary program at George Brown College. The culinary program, combined with his mother’s vast knowledge, paved the way for him to follow his passion for the culinary arts. Giorgio writes as a columnist for Canadian Pizza Magazine and also serves as a pizza judge at the Canadian Pizza Show in Toronto. He helped develop a course called “Pizza 101” at George Brown College and instructed for numerous years.

You can follow Giorgio on Twitter at @TorontoPizzeria. And you can learn more about Frank’s Pizza House on Facebook and Instagram, or by visiting the shop online at FranksPizzaHouse.ca.

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