Located in North Philadelphia’s euphonious Strawberry Mansion neighbourhood, Down North Pizza is literally serving the community: Not only does the pizzeria tantalize taste buds with Detroit-style pizza, but they exclusively employ formerly incarcerated individuals at a fair wage.
Inspired by his own time behind bars, Down North Pizza’s chef Mike Carter honed his culinary skills in jail kitchen, and is well-familiar with the barriers formerly incarcerated men and women face when returning to society. And even though the pan pizzas with their crisp, chewy crust are distinctively Detroit style, the influence of the City of Brotherly Love – Philly – is ubiquitous:
“Slingin’ Pies and Saving Lives”, every single pizza from Down North’s mouth-watering menu is named after songs by Philly hip-hop legends, from The Roots to Freeway and Meek Mill. One example: The latter’s anthem “I’m a Boss”, which provided the mood for a pizza garnished with Turkey pepperoni, Turkey sausage, mushrooms, red peppers and Norf sauce.
Making headlines nationwide these days, Down North Pizza is also featured on FOOD HEROES, a brand-new documentary by First We Feast, well-known for their viral ‘Hot Ones’ moments: The show invites “to partake in a banquet of inspiration and empowerment”, with Pushin Fruits LA and the #TacoTrucksAtEveryMosque initiative, which brings together Latinos and Muslims with its cultural fusion of halal tacos, as two more culinary examples that are cooking up a change: