Although the pandemic has affected us negatively in many ways, there are also a few positive things that have come out of it. For example, many of us have become more familiar with the kitchen and we might even consider ourselves to be quite good at making a meal.
In Philadelphia, there is a grad student who decided that pizza would be his go-to meal but he doesn’t want to keep it to himself. He lives on the second floor and he lowers pizzas to those who want them, only asking for money to be donated to charity. Since the beginning, he has raised $30,000.
The University of Pennsylvania MBA student may be only 27 years old, but Ben Berman knows how to run a pizzeria. Actually, Good Pizza PHL isn’t a pizzeria in the true sense of the word. It is run out of his one-bedroom apartment, but according to what he’s reported to Penn’s Wharton School website, it has done quite well.
Berman started making pizzas as a hobby in 2019 when he moved to Philadelphia. Friends would come over to enjoy what he made, but the pandemic made it impossible for them to get together face-to-face. He offered pizzas to his friends who were willing to stop by, and he would lower them down to them from the upstairs apartment.
According to Penn Wharton School, he said: “People thought it was really cool. So I was like, alright well that’s interesting that there’s something here. As things got more dire over the summer, I wanted to find a way to give back. It was just an opportunity to marry those two things.”
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At first, he relied on word-of-mouth to get people stopping by, but after his story was picked up locally and then featured on CBS news, more than 21,000 people have become his followers on Instagram.
As you can imagine, he was struggling to keep up with the demand of that many followers. That is when he came up with the idea for a lottery system so that people could sign up for the opportunity to make the list. A local news station in Philadelphia, 6ABC, reported that Berman is only able to make 20 pizzas a night. If he makes more, his oven starts to smoke and gives up a little.
Berman also puts a personal touch by sending a handwritten note with every pizza. He just asks that they send a donation through Venmo and he divvies up the money to various charities, such as Philabundance and Project Home. He has made about 500 pizzas so far and has earned $30,000 for charity.
You don’t even have to come to Philadelphia and get a pizza to support the cause. His Venmo account is @GoodPizzaPHL. He says: ” Every single penny that comes in, I give away. I don’t take any cut myself, I’m not using it to pay for ingredients. Every single dollar that people donate, I’m giving right back out to nonprofits that we care about.”
Berman has been experimenting with various pizza options recently and sharing those pictures on Instagram. He is doing so in his spare time and is hoping to get more support and take things even further.Whizzco