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Good Pizza: A Slice for a Smile and a Good Cause

Good Pizza- A Slice for a Smile and a Good Cause

Philadelphia resident Ben Berman has created what may be one of the most original ways to deliver pizza during a pandemic, via a pulley system that he lowers from his second floor apartment to the customer waiting below.

When he first started his operation last March – it began as a hobby to lift his friends’ spirits – he made his pizzas for free. As word of mouth grew and other people started requesting pies, he asked folks to Venmo cash, which he then donated to charities such as Philabundance, Project Home, and Share Food Philly, that addressed issues exacerbated by the pandemic.

Such is how his non-profit, Good Pizza PHL, which has since raised more than 62,000 and has been highlighted on the Today Show, The Ellen Show and other national media, was born.

ben berman lowering a pizza from his window

Photo Courtesy of Good Pizza PHL

Because of its popularity, Berman, a grad student at the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania, now asks customers to fill out a lottery form on his website. Since he’s making them out of his (small) apartment and because he’s a one-man-band (with schoolwork still to deal with), he makes 20 pizzas a week.

All pizzas are made with “good flour” (he likes the King Arthur brand), “good tomatoes” (he’s partial to Bianco DiNapoli), and a home baking steel (he uses one from a company called “Baking Steel”). The dough, he explains, is something he’s worked on a while and is his “secret sauce.”

pizza with red onions

Photo Courtesy of Good Pizza PHL

Berman’s love for food goes back to his childhood days in Maine cooking with his mom, Kerri, as well as jobs in the kitchens of Terracotta Pasta Company in South Portland, Maine (he grew up one town over in Cape Elizabeth.) At one point, he even started his own food truck. Food for him, he said, equals happiness.

Which is how the Good Pizza PHL story started. For Berman, organizing pizza nights with friends was a regular pre-pandemic occurrence. He had, in fact, planned a get together just before the pandemic. With his audience cut off and so much pizza dough on hand, he needed to figure out a way to get rid of it.

And so the “pizza drops” began.

ben berman making pizza in a good pizza phl shirt

Photo Courtesy of Good Pizza PHL

Berman doesn’t see Good Pizza as a business, but something to look forward to everyday in a time where there has been so little of that. As it says on his website mission statement: “If we can make some people smile with what we’re doing along the way, that’s pretty great too.”

Lucky for pizza lovers (and the charities he supports), Berman is as energetic about his operation as he was the day he started. “I don’t know about the long term, but I do know that as long as we’re giving back to causes that are making an impact on the world, I have no plans of stopping anytime soon.”


Waylon Jin

Waylon Jin is a food writer, recipe developer and food innovator based in New York. Follow his food adventures on Instagram at @northeastfoodie.



  1. JJ on April 5, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    I am going to buy a Good Pizza in Philadelphia. Thank you

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