In Philadelphia, PA on 11th street, there is a place called Rosa’s Fresh Pizza where they serve pizza by the slice for just $1. Sounds like a good deal, right?
What if I told you that you could buy an extra slice for someone who could not afford it?
In 2013 Mason Wartman left his job on Wall Street to move back to his hometown of Philadelphia to open a pizza place. He would name it Rosa’s after his mother and serve slices for an affordable $1. Business took off immediately. One day a customer asked Mason if he could pay an extra $1 for the next homeless person to walk in, as a pay it forward gesture. Mason loved the idea and wrote a post-it note reminder to himself: a smiley face that he put on the wall. A legend was born.
The idea quickly took off and before long the walls were covered in post-its from people who had joined in the movement.
To date the restaurant has sold more than 10,000 free slices of pizza for homeless people. It has become the only meal of the day that some of these people can count on. One day, a homeless regular of the Rosa’s returned after a multiple month hiatus. Mason greeted him with open arms and asked where he had been. The man informed him that he had found a job and wanted to take his turn to pay it forward. He purchased a slice of pizza and posted the credit to the wall.
The “free” slices make up about 10% of Rosa’s business.
Take a brief moment to browse the photos below and let this powerful cause sink in.
Wartman has said that he gets many gracious comments from the people in poverty who frequent his restaurant. Not just for the free meal but also because it keeps them out of trouble. Knowing that they have a free meal at Rosa’s anytime means they do not have to rely on theft or any other form of crime to feed themselves.
Faith in humanity: restored
Featured photo credit: Eating Pizza via picjumbo.com