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New York City is famous for a lot of different things, but pizza is certainly one thing that stands out in the eyes of food connoisseurs. There are plenty of “dollar slice” pizzerias to pick from, and many of them achieve great success. Who doesn't love a $1 slice of pizza?

Now, let's meet Mason Wartman, a former Wall Street equity researcher turned pizza chef. At the age of 26, the native of Philadelphia decided he wanted to leave the financial world, and enter the world of pizza. But instead of starting another pizzeria, he opted to return to Philly. He wasn't going to be making cheesesteaks either. He was sticking to pizza, and he was determined to do it better than everyone else. “I was always fascinated by businesses, and New York’s dollar-a-slice pizza model really stood out to me,” said Wartman. "But I also knew that I wanted to bring something back home [to Philly].”

Keeping Things Simple

Rosa’s menu doesn't have a ton of options. It isn't overwhelming to look at, and if you don't like pizza, you probably should find somewhere else to eat. The menu contains the following options: A whole pie is $8. One slice of pizza is $1. A bottle of water is $1, and a can of soda is $0.50. Nope, no fancy toppings here either. Just extra cheese (real mozzarella), sausage, and extra pepperoni. The sauce and dough are also made from scratch.

Keeping things ridiculously simple is working for Wartman and the popular Rosa's Fresh Pizza shop. Customers know what to expect, and they love the product. But even though the menu is concise, it doesn't mean the strategy is. Wartman wants to give back to his hometown.

Giving Back

Helping out the hometown is a priority for Mason Wartman.

Last March, he made the news for creating one of the most innovative charities in the city of Philadelphia — a pizza-sharing program that was geared toward feeding the homeless and needy. The program relies on the charitable donations of kind patrons, who purchase $1 slices for themselves, and then donate another dollar to go toward a slice for someone in need. Once again, it is super simple, but the thought behind it is quite brilliant. In return for the donation, the patron is given a Post-it note. On this note, they can pass on words of inspiration, encouragement, prayer, or just say hey. Since the program started a little over eight months ago, over 7,200 slices of pizza have been given to those in need, Wartman told Rush Order Tees.

Continuing the Push

Rosa's Fresh Pizza and Mason Wartman wanted to continue to do right in the community, and they decided to partner with Rush Order Tees to help not only provide food for homeless and less fortunate city residents, but clothe them, as well. According to the Rush Order Tees blog, Rosa’s Fresh Pizza will sell t-shirts and crew neck sweatshirts in conjunction with Rush Order Tees (for a limited time). This is in an effort to raise money for the pizza-sharing program and offer free clothing to the less fortunate.

Wartman is growing something special, and he plans on reinvesting into the prospering program. He said he intends on injecting 25-50% percent of the profits from the t-shirt sales right back into the pizza-sharing program. For every sweatshirt purchased, Wartman will give one to someone in need.

One really cool thing to point out about the inside of the sweatshirts is that you’ll find information about homeless shelters and food kitchens in the area: phone numbers and addresses. There is also a schedule of places that provide other services including computer classes.

Rush Order Tees said they were very proud to enter into this partnership, saying that "With the holiday season in full swing, we hope our customers – both local and not – will take some time to give back to (and spread the word about) such a tremendous cause."

Apparel can be purchased online or in person from Rosa’s Fresh Pizza, located at 25 South 11th Street in Center City. T-shirts are $14 and sweatshirts are $40.

Major props to Rush Order Tees and Rosa's Fresh Pizza!

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