Penticton may not have been the site of the first Boston Pizza, but it was ground zero for the two men who turned the small chain into an international operation.
Now Jim Treliving and George Melville, chairmen and owners of Boston Pizza International, are being honoured by Junior Achievement of B.C. for their outstanding business achievements, enduring contributions to the province and country, as well as deep commitments to community.
“George and I are very honoured to be nominated for the Business Laureates B.C. Business Hall of Fame” said Treliving. “
It is a remarkable list of business people who have previously been inducted as Laureates and we are proud to be recognized among such an accomplished group.”
It was 1964 when Gus Agioritis opened his Boston Pizza and Spaghetti House in Edmonton.
By 1968, the growing popularity of the small chain attracted the attention of RCMP officer Treliving, who chose Penticton as the site for his first franchise.
Penticton is also where Treliving met George Melville, a chartered accountant who managed the local Peat Marwick office.
“Penticton played a big role in our early business ventures. It is where I obtained my designation as a Chartered Accountant in 1968 while Jim was opening the very first Boston Pizza franchise,” said Melville
“It is also where we became partners in 1973 and started our restaurant expansion across BC. The lessons that we learned in those early days helped shape the Boston Pizza brand and ultimately led to the success that we enjoy today.”
Starting from that single restaurant franchise, the pair’s business grew into the massive T&M Group, with operations throughout North America in the retail, manufacturing, real estate and service sectors and annual sales exceeding $1 billion.
That includes the Boston Pizza chain, which Melville and Treliving purchased in 1983.
At that time, the partners owned 17 of the company’s 44 restaurants.
Three decades later, the chain has grown to almost 400 restaurants across North America.
Their drive to succeed has benefited communities across the province as well.
Since its inception in 1990 the Boston Pizza Foundation has raised and donated over $14 million to Canadian charities. Melville has served on boards including Kwantlen Polytechnic University, the Okanagan Innovation Fund and the Premier’s Economic Counsel, while Treliving also served on a number of volunteer boards including the Hockey Canada Foundation, the David Foster Foundation and the Richmond Hospital Foundation.
Treliving is also one of the stars on CBC’s reality TV show, Dragons’ Den, where aspiring entrepreneurs try to secure a financial investment from the Dragons to start their own business.