Meet ‘MR. SUNSHINE’ Vincenzo Guzzo
If you are a fan of CBC’s Dragons’ Den, it is easy to recognize the name and the fiery passion that is Vincenzo Guzzo.
Born in Montreal, to Italian immigrants, a young Vincenzo cut his entrepreneurial teeth at an early age, working at his father’s cinema, the former Cinéma Paradis, in the east end of Montreal. The younger Guzzo would do his homework in his father’s office and then work various jobs in the cinema.
Since his debut on Dragons’ Den in 2018, Guzzo has earned the nickname of ‘Mr. Sunshine’, a moniker he akins to being close enough to the warmth of the sun to grow and prosper but not too close to get burned by it. He is straightforward and passionate, with a no-nonsense approach that can knock some to the ground. His phrase ‘listen to me’ has become part of his brand and a popular hashtag associated with everything Guzzo does. #ListenToMe
Married with five children, Guzzo is more than a serial entrepreneur with an uncanny ability to build brands.
In looking for new ventures, Vincenzo does not rely on financials only. It’s the passion behind the idea that sparks his interest, ‘the why’ and ‘the story’, even though he is a self-proclaimed ‘numbers guy’. One can see him on the show crunching the numbers at a lightning speed as he peppers candidates with questions.
Guzzo is more than a businessman, he is a marketer and it is with this vision that he looks for brands that he can vertically integrate with Cinémas Guzzo, one of Canada’s largest movie theatre chains, owned and operated by him where he serves as CEO. This vertical integration includes chocolate and gourmet popcorn sold at the concession stands, under the Mr. Sunshine brand.
Yet he takes his passion for integration one step further – Guzzo is a strong supporter of buying local. The popcorn comes from Ontario, the chocolate from Quebec and this is the genius of Mr. Sunshine at work. Integrate the supply chain with local products, further supporting the Canadian economy.
The Guzzo empire includes Guzzo Construction Inc. (the company that builds all Cinémas Guzzo theatres), as well as Guzzo Medical and Guzzo Hospitality. Then there is Giulietta, the chain of Neapolitan pizzerias he opened in Montreal.
Everything he does is with a passionate vision. With a reputation as an employer of being firm but fair, for Vincenzo, there is no half-way. He believes in giving 110% and he expects the same from his employees – raising the bar not for the company but also for themselves.
In 2007, Guzzo and his wife Maria, launched The Guzzo Foundation to support research for cancer and mental health. The Foundation has donated millions of dollars and continues to support research and the imaging departments at local hospitals including the Jewish General, the Montreal General and the Shriners Hospitals for Children – Canada. One can support this foundation with the purchase of Mr. Sunshine-branded products on his website www.mrsunshine.com – once again, a fully-integrated vision that gives back to society. His drive and commitment to his community is a cornerstone of his brand: this past February, Cinémas Guzzo offered discounted pricing every day for healthcare workers as his theaters across Quebec.
With his trademark yellow Mr. Sunshine flower, Guzzo is more than an entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is a force-of-nature, determined to improve the lives of everyone he meets. Listen to him. Take note. And be prepared to soar.
Public relations: Zenergy Communicatons
Linda Farha l firstname.lastname@example.org