Banker Quits, Opens A Pizzeria, But What His Customers Are Doing Will Move You To Tears!
Mason Wartman had a cushy Wall Street job in New York City making the big bucks, but there was something missing in his life. Pizza! Well, not exactly, but the 25-year-old had always dreamed of owning his own business. So he quit, moved to Philadelphia, and opened Rosa’s Fresh Pizza.
Then, one day, a customer did something that would change Wartman’s business – and life – forever. A man walked into the $1-a-slice pizza joint and ordered a slice for himself and asked if he could buy a slice for a homeless person. “I said, ‘Sure.’ I took his dollar and ran out and got some Post-it notes and put one up to signify that a slice was purchased,” Wartman told NPR. This system of “paying-it-forward” became a Philly phenomenon, so to speak. Over the next year, customers would purchase more than 10,000 slices of pizza, free for homeless individuals or anyone struggling to help make ends meet. Customers have left notes all over Wartman’s wall sharing their appreciation if they’re taking a slice, and their inspiration if they’re leaving a note. Now, Wartman is helping feed nearly 30 to 40 homeless people per day and the good will is inspiring similar trends at other restaurants – like Starbucks and Panera Bread – and has caught the attention of the national media, which brings more people in, which means more donations. Wartman says he believes people generally want to help, but often are left unsure about what they can do. “This is a super-easy way, a super-efficient way, and a super-transparent way to help the homeless.” “They’re just really nice people, you know? Sometimes homeless people buy them for other homeless people.” As that appreciative customer said, “Everybody wants the world to change but in order for that to happen we have to change ourselves.” Who’d have thought it would only cost us a buck?
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