Rosa’s Fresh Pizza near 40th and Market offers free pizza to those in need

February 27, 2018

Rosa’s Fresh Pizza, the no-frills dollar-slice pizza shop, opened its second location this month on 40th between Ludlow and Market. Rosa’s is the brainchild of businessman Mason Wartman, whose claim to fame is appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres Show to talk about his restaurant’s wall of pay-it-forward post-it notes. Each post-it represents a slice of pizza purchased by someone to feed the city’s homeless population, and anyone who can’t afford to buy food for themselves can take a post-it off of the wall and trade it for a slice at the counter.

Rosa’s original location, in Center City near Jefferson Hospital at 11th and Ludlow, serves free slices to 50-100 customers a day. A person behind the counter at the new University City location who declined to give his name said that they had “some” people taking advantage of the free slices, but not as many as 30 or 40. “I guess people just haven’t heard yet,” he explained. 

It’s worth noting that while Rosa’s might have gotten national attention for its pay-it-forward post-its, it isn’t the first shop in the neighborhood to let people buy food for future customers. Little Baby’s Ice Cream, located at 49th and Catharine St., has a pay-it-forward wall where you can specify who gets the benefit of your generosity, whether it’s anyone who wants one or even a specific individual.

Rosa’s Fresh Pizza West Philly shop’s hours are Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, visit: You can also make donations online.

Mike VanHelder

Editor’s Note: University City District helped Wartman raise money for his West Philly shop hoping that it will help spark revitalization in the area where a lot of businesses struggle to stay open. You can read more about it in this article.

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Deborah Zubow Says:

    Nice to learn about the pay-it-forward pizza shop. I will definitely go there. But the part at the end of the article, where you say that the University City District helped out cause so many shops have a hard time staying open on that street is, let me say, disingenuous. The University City District, in collaboration with the University have been exerting a great deal of pressure on the thriving businesses on 40th street, to clear out the street of the stores that serve the surrounding, mostly low-income and African American community, to create their own clear, university dominated corridor to the El stop. Anyone who has lived in West Phila for any length of time has seen this pattern recreated over and over again. Starting with the Black Bottom community until today. Learn from history, neighbors!

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