Today on CauseTalk Radio, Megan and I talk to Mason Wartman, owner of Rosa's Fresh Pizza in Philadelphia. Over the past several month's Mason has become a media darling for his efforts to feed the homeless in his neighborhood. He's even appeared on Ellen!
Like all great ideas, Mason's is simple but powerful. When customers buy a slice of pizza they can buy another for someone in need. Rosa's walls are lined with sticky notes and well wishes that the homeless can redeem for a free slice.
Since the program began last year, Rosa's has given away 11,000 slices in a neighborhood that needs all the extra dough it can get.
During this episode, Megan, Mason and I discuss:
- How Mason made the move from Wall Street to Main Street to sell pizza in his hometown of Philadelphia.
- How it all started with one customer asking to buy a pizza for someone who was homeless.
- How it took a year to become an overnight success!
- How the program started with a sticky note but evolved into a register program that never lost its post-it note roots.
- Why Mason never has to pressure customers to support the program. They ask to support it!
- How Mason's program can be easily replicated by other businesses
- How the program has been good for the community and good for business - despite being in a poor neighborhood where he is one of the few businesses left!
- How Mason's experiment with pizza compares to Panera Cares. Which one is better?
- Mason's dream to expand his program and have several restaurants in Philadelphia.