Not a Pizza Handout, but a Path to Change
Pixza in Mexico City is empowering the down and out with delicious opportunities and one strange pizza dough.
Many of Pixza's staff were found on the street and rehabilitated into agents of change.
Pixza in Mexico City is unlike any other pizzeria. And it’s not just because their dough is blue. Their business model is built on social and economic empowerment through pizza.
How they serve Mexico City
It starts with their dough, which is made with Mexican blue corn. 100% of the corn Pixza buys comes from micro-farms, supporting the local economy.
For every five slices of pizza sold, a sixth one is automatically donated to someone in need. If you happen to be the lucky number five whose purchase triggers this act of kindness, you’re given a triangle piece of paper to write a note to the one who will receive the slice.
Pixza founder Alex Souza told Ganar GanarTV that giving away pizza is not a handout, not with the system that Pixza has developed to curb abuse of the system and help the destitute get back on their feet. The program is called the Path to Change and here’s how it works.
Each person who gets a slice of pizza receives a bracelet (like the one above) to keep track of how many Pixza slices they’ve gotten. After five free slices, they are asked to give back by helping deliver pizza to others in need. After receiving 10 slices of pizza and volunteering twice, participants in the program then go to the next level. From there, participants receive a haircut, shower, shirt, doctor’s visit, and free entry into a course to get them back into society. If all goes well they are offered a job either at Pixza or one of their collaborating partners as an official agent of change.
What’s their pizza like?
100% Mexican. Pixza takes pride in their local ingredients and flavors, many of which could only be found in Mexico. Where else would you find a pizza with huitlacoche, a truffle found growing on corn? Or their pre-Hispanic pizza topped with Mixiote, an ancient recipe from the Americas made with marinated meat.
Let’s not forget their rotating slice of the month which – guess what – goes to a great cause! Pixza’s Social Oven project allows makers with great ideas to use pizza as a crowdfunding platform.
Here’s how the Social Oven works
1. Present your concept to Pixza.
2. Work together with Pixza to create a pizza slice that represents your idea and carries the name of your project.
3. Decorate the Pixza store with images and information about your project.
4. Inaugurate your mission. Pixza gives you an exclusive night to present your project to your guests and kick off your campaign.
5. Invite as many people as possible to come try your pizza and support your cause.
6. At the end of the month, you get the earnings from your pizza slice – it’s that easy!
7. Launch your project with the money you collected.
8. Celebrate your impact. Pixza will give you a night where they close the store just for you to present the impact you have created to all of your supporters.
If you can’t think of a project, Pixza organizes creativity nights to get ideas rolling. This pizzeria is truly an agent for change.
Pixza is recognized for its off-the-charts generosity through its B Corporation certification. B Corp certification is given by a private entity and audited by an NGO to recognize businesses which are acting responsibly. In order to qualify businesses need to show social and environmental responsibility as well as transparency and good working conditions within their business. B Corporation’s mission is to give stakeholders something more to consider than profits alone.
If there’s a way to help in Mexico City, you can bet Pixza is there! Visit them at one of their two locations:
Pixza Zona Rosa
Liverpool 162 B, Colonia Juárez
México D.F., México 06600
Pixza Roma Norte
Córdoba 234, Colonia Roma Norte
México D.F., México 06700