Mason Wartman seemed to have it all. At a relatively young age, he had a successful job on Wall Street, but apparently wasn”t feeling very happy with it. In 2013, he left his job and returned to his native Philadelphia, where he opened Rosa”s Fresh Pizza. He named the restaurant after his mom…and there”s something special about this pizza place.
Rosa”s sells slices for only a dollar. And that”s including tax.
The idea was inspired by $1 pizza places Wartman had seen in New York, and the idea caught on in Philadelphia, and business took off. That”s a nice story, but the story of Rosa”s isn”t nearly over.
One day, a satisfied customer asked to “pay it forward,” contributing a dollar that would cover the cost of a free slice of pizza to someone in need. Wartman loved the kind gesture and, to remind himself, he drew a smiley face on a Post-It and stuck it on the wall. People noticed the Post-It and soon, were buying vouchers for the hungry themselves. Among the less fortunate, word spread that free food was available at Rosa”s. By last March, Rosa”s had given away about 8,300 slices of pizza to the hungry, paid for by other customers. After all, it”s only a dollar.
Customers leave notes of encouragement on the walls, in the original Post-It tradition.
On average, Rosa”s gives away thirty to forty slices a day. That would be a lot of Post-Its, so the tally for free slices is now kept in the register. The walls are still covered in notes from both the givers and the recipients of the free pizza, though, and more and more people are catching on. Ellen DeGeneres recently donated $10,000.
These are just some of the notes from people who benefit from the program.
So, if you”re in Philadelphia and you have a craving for pizza, stop into Rosa”s. You”ll get a slice for a dollar, and for only a dollar more, you can help someone get some food in their belly. Two dollars for two meals, plus the satisfaction of helping someone out? That”s a pretty good deal. And if you”re not near Philly, you can buy someone a slice online.