• The new Planthandler at Panhandler’s Pizza features Beyond Hot Italian Sausage, a plant-based protein designed to look and taste like pork.
  • Panhandler’s Pizza also uses sustainable pizza boxes and compostable slice boxes as part of its commitment to sustainability.

Related: Vegan pizza toppings are getting better and better

Adding a new plant-based pizza is the latest move toward increased sustainability for Panhandler’s Pizza, which has been operating in Fort Collins, Colorado, since 1975.

The iconic single-unit pizza company, known for its deep-dish pies with a unique blend of Chicago, Detroit and Sicilian influences, has added the Planthandler to its permanent menu. It will feature Beyond Hot Italian sausage, a plant-based protein designed to look and taste like pork.

According to a press release, Panhandler’s Pizza aims to make its supply chain as sustainable as possible while preserving the authentic Panhandler’s experience and taste.

The company uses certified sustainable forestry pizza boxes and compostable to-go slice boxes. To conserve single-use plastics, extra supplies, such as covers for cups and straws, are only available by request. Panhandler’s also uses environmentally friendly cleaners whenever possible, and sources its 100-percent whole-milk Wisconsin mozzarella from Grandé Cheese Company. Grandé produces renewable energy from farm waste and has committed to reducing water and land use as part of its environmental stewardship.

Related: What if every restaurant served plant-based and sustainable meals?

The Foster family opened Panhandler’s Pizza in 1975, then sold it to John Olsen in the early 1980s. Louann DeCoursey, a former Panhandler’s employee, and her husband, Mike Piotraschke, purchased the store in 2017.

Panhandler’s pan-style pies start with a pastry-like honey whole wheat dough that’s baked at a lower temperature for a longer time.

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