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Merging of Maria’s Bakery, Wally’s Chicken like heaven for foodies

 Merging of Maria’s Bakery, Wally’s Chicken like heaven for foodies

Wally Haddad holds his signature chicken sandwich and fries — the meal, he says, that put Wally’s Chicken on the southeast-Michigan food map.

A Canton food-stop favorite since the 1970s, Maria’s Italian Bakery — like most businesses — faced a stretch of pandemic-related struggles.

Thankfully for the bakery’s longtime clientele, renowned chef Wally Haddad (a Canton resident since 1989) came to the rescue in 2020 to revive the popular take-out food destination located just northwest of the intersection of Canton’s Cherry Hill and Haggerty roads.

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Almost three years later, Maria’s is running on all cylinders — and Haddad added to the business’s already-amazing menu with his own creation: Wally’s Chicken.

“First of all, it was very, very important to keep Maria’s recipes — the pizza slices, mostaccioli, lasagna … everything — exactly the same as they’ve been for the past 40-some years,” Haddad said. “Like a wise man once said, ‘If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.’

Original Maria’s recipes

“I thought it was important, too, to implement some new menu offerings I’ve perfected during my history in the cooking industry, which is why we’ve co-branded Maria’s with Wally’s Chicken. My chicken sandwich is what put me on the map.”

The Marias Bakery pizza slices are made with the same recipe used by the eatery since the 1970s
The Marias Bakery pizza slices are made with the same recipe used by the eatery since the 1970s

Haddad’s recipe for success is seasoned with a heaping helping of hard work blended with a proven history of pleasing hungry customers.

Since he took over Maria’s in late-2020, Haddad has worked seven days a week — arriving at 8 a.m. and cooking until 8 p.m. on weekdays, 9 p.m. on weekends — while taking off just three days when Maria’s was closed for holidays.

“If you love what you’re doing like I do, it’s not a job,” said Haddad. “The best thing in the world for me is having someone try my food for the first time then return and give me a compliment.

Rave reviews

“The feedback we’ve received has been amazing. I can’t tell you how many customers we have who stop by three or four times a week to order food or to pick up a U-bake pizza.”

The food take-out business is located at 115 N. Haggerty Road in Canton.
The food take out business is located at 115 N Haggerty Road in Canton

Haddad’s menu of previous food-related jobs is impressive. He has managed three restaurants in Ann Arbor, oversaw food operations for a time at the University of Michigan Hospital and currently has a partnership with Ford Motor Company and the General Motors Tech Center, among other large corporations, to provide meals for workers who are returning to the office following several months of working remotely.

Haddad prides himself on delivering large portions of food at a cost-effective price to his customers.

“For instance, we have one special that includes 20 pieces of chicken for $18,” he said. “And I’ve had several people tell me my chicken sandwich and fries feeds two people.

“We catered one party with between 70 to 80 guests and the total bill came to $350, for which our customer was very grateful.”

Cannoli craving

The longtime Canton food takeout business was recognized as one of the best in the area by the CEO of the popular Nextdoor app
The longtime Canton food takeout business was recognized as one of the best in the area by the CEO of the popular Nextdoor app

A longtime Canton resident who moved to northern Michigan a few years ago developed such a craving for a Maria’s cannoli, his wife arranged for Haddad to prepare a few servings of the dessert and ship them packed in ice via overnight mail.

“We’ll do whatever it takes to please our customers,” said Haddad, who was recently presented with a Neighborhood Fave award from the CEO of the Nextdoor app.

Customers have several options for securing a delicious meal from Maria’s/Wally’s. They can stop in and pick up freshly-cooked food, a variety of which is always available; or they can place an order with phone call or have food delivered with popular delivery apps DoorDash and GrubHub.

If you would like your business featured on SocialHouseNews.com, please contact Ed Wright at 734-664-4657 or edwright@socialhousenews.com.

 

 

 

 

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