Think about it. A slice of pizza can be a a warming, substantial meal for those in need…as well as delicious. One parlor has figured out a great way to pay it forward, pizza-wise.
One young business owner is proving the value of making his hometown a more charitable community, one pizza slice at a time.
Mason Wartman, 27, spent three years in a Wall Street job before he left, burnt out, to open Rosa’s Fresh Pizza in Philadelphia.
One simply needs to step inside to see how Rosa’s differentiates itself from the competition: Colorful Post-it notes cover the walls. Each note represents a free slice of pizza, paid for by customers who donated $1. The homeless can come into Rosa’s and exchange one of the Post-its for a free slice.
So far, Rosa’s has given away 9,000 slices.
“On bad days, I wish we didn’t do this. On the good days, you’re like, ‘Oh, I’m really glad I did this,’” Wartman told TODAY’s Sheinelle Jones about running his business. “At the end of the day, we help so many people that I can’t go back.”
Wartman says he didn’t come up with the idea to help the homeless. He simply wanted to provide a place to grab a $1 pizza slice, like the ones he loved in New York. It was his customers, he said, who cooked up the idea of paying it forward, one dollar and slice at a time. Rosa’s serves about 40 homeless customers every day and each patron is recognized like any other paying customer, Wartman said.