For small business owner Mary Alloy, running a pizza franchise gives her an opportunity to do good deeds in her local community.
Mary is well known for supporting non-profits, hospitals, and other philanthropic endeavors around the Buffalo, New York area. She also owns and operates Just Pizza & Wing Co. in Amherst, New York. “I try to do whatever I can for other organizations who need help,” Mary said. “We have donation boxes all over the store. Anything I can do to the help the community, I’m going to do it.”
An avid animal lover, Mary also gives generously to animal shelters in her area. She recently began volunteering with the Niagara Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), where an interaction with SPCA event coordinator Kimberly LaRussa sparked an idea Mary couldn’t pass up.
“Kimberly texted me one night and was like, ‘Hey, what would you think about putting pictures of the dogs on pizza boxes?’ and I just couldn’t wait,” said Mary. “We are all animal lovers here, so I got permission from the franchise to do it and immediately got to work.”
“I sent her a flyer for her approval for the boxes and she said she broke down in tears,” Kimberly said. “That’s just the kind of person she is. We are so grateful to Mary and Just Pizza.”
Mary and her team began adding the flyers to every outgoing pizza box during a busy Friday evening. Her customers noticed right away, and all of them are “absolutely loving” the idea. The flyers are not only bringing smiles to her customer’s faces — the pictures are actually working, too. The day after the first batch of pizza flyers went out, one of Mary’s customers showed up at the SPCA to give a 6-month-old puppy named Larry a forever home!
The SPCA shared a picture of one of the pizza boxes on their Facebook page. That post went viral and lead to even more business for Mary’s shop, and more potential adoptions for the SPCA’s shelter. Mary says the shop normally uses 600-800 boxes each week. This week they’ve already sent out 500 boxes in just a few days. Not only that, but other area businesses are getting in on the action, too.
“Many people want to order a pizza just to get the shelter dog photo, other pizzerias have offered to put flyers on their pizza boxes, and so many people are tagging their friends and family,” Kimberly said.
Next up, cats! Mary says she has no plans to stop the SPCA flyers soon, and they will soon branch out to include adoptable cats. What a great way to get some much-needed attention for these sweet animals! Now that’s “thinking outside the box.”
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