Council member Isaiah Thomas using social media to spotlight pizza shop who hires former inmates

For those who work at Down Home Pizza in Strawberry Mansion, it's a full circle moment from prison to pizza kitchen.
STRAWBERRY MANSION (WPVI) -- City Council member Isaiah Thomas has been using short videos on social media to spotlight Black-owned businesses through what he calls the Black Business Crawl.

And for those who work at Down North Pizza in Strawberry Mansion, this is a full circle moment from prison to pizza kitchen.

"It's important for individuals to see people that look like them," said Muhammad Abdul-Hadji, Owner of Down North Pizza.

Down North Pizza isn't just known for their square pan pizza, but also the unusual job prerequisite: Everyone in that kitchen has been to prison.

"Just because you made mistakes or committed crimes, or things like that in the past, you can turn your life around," said Abdul- Hadi.

Abdul-Hadi, along with his partners, want to help the recently incarcerated reacclimate into society.

"What we try to do is highlight those Black businesses in the city that exist, doing great work so other people know they exist, and encourage people to support them as well as court them," said Council Member At-Large, Isaiah Thomas.

Thomas has been doing the Black Business Crawl for the last four years, using short videos to introduce residents to minority owned businesses.

"We want to put them in a position where they can maximize their potential and thrive right here," he said.

The Black Business Crawl isn't an actual crawl, but one just for residents at their leisure to patronize minority owners business.

Also you might have recognized Down North Pizza. They were on the New York Times 2021 Top 50 Restaurant List.
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