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Serial Entrepreneur John Stetson, Owner of Stoner’s Pizza Joint Shares How Giving Back Helped the Franchise Get Through These Uncertain Times

Since we have put a heavy focus on giving back, we have attracted new customers and seen an increase in brand recognition. As the sole franchisee in the South Florida market it has been a goal to become more identifiable in the community. Through these efforts, we have gained a strong employee morale as we […]

Since we have put a heavy focus on giving back, we have attracted new customers and seen an increase in brand recognition. As the sole franchisee in the South Florida market it has been a goal to become more identifiable in the community. Through these efforts, we have gained a strong employee morale as we are all proud of our contributions to the community.

As South Florida entered quarantine in March and most restaurants were closing down, Stoner’s Pizza Jointcommitted to donate 10,000 slices of pizza. What started as a need to help students who didn’t have lunch, has since expanded to include medical staff, first responders, and families that are food insecure. They supported Arc Broward, Broward Health, Broward County Public Schools, Covenant House Florida, FLITE Center, Hope South Florida, Mobile Pantry Broward, Memorial Healthcare, Salvation Army, and many others. 

I sat down with serial entrepreneur and owner of Stoner’s Pizza Joint, John Stetson, to discuss how giving back to the community helped strengthen his brand during these uncertain times. John is the founder of Sunset Bay Capital, a private equity firm that helps build companies across all industries. Most recently, he invested in Stoner’s Pizza Joint, where he has opened and acquired 5 locations in the Florida and Georgia markets since November 2019. 

At The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we are committed to helping both client and community, which is something John Stetson has done throughout his career. In a recent Q&A with John, he shared more about his newest investment in pizza, how he personally gives back through his foundation, and how important it is to help others. 

What is your business and what do you do? Stoner’s Pizza Joint is a delivery and takeout-focused concept, offering fresh high-quality food prepared in-house. The menu features a variety of specialty pizzas, calzones, strombolis, sandwiches, hickory-smoked chicken wings, freshly prepared salads and freshly baked desserts. As an owner, I oversee management, sales, inventory, marketing, and expansion.

What is your company’s philanthropic involvement? As coronavirus hit in March 2020, Stoner’s Pizza Joint Fort Lauderdale pledged 10,000 pizza slices to Broward County students who have not been able to receive lunch at school. This pledge has proliferated into providing meals for first responders, underprivileged families, and other charitable organizations. In Savannah, GA, our stores held a Trunk to Table event where 1,000 free pizzas were given away to families in need. Outside of these pledges, we are focused on partnering with local charitable foundations for their events.  

How do you personally perform community service (where, how, impact)? My wife and I are trustees for the John and Tarra Stetson Charitable Foundation, Inc. based in Fort Lauderdale. The Foundation is dedicated to serving needs in education, health, social and economic development in the local community. I have served as on the Executive Leadership Committee for the American Heart Association since 2016 and was Chairman for the Broward Heart Ball in 2020.

What are 3 ways that giving back can help a business grow? (use personal experience) 

Giving back has helped business in a variety of ways. 

  1. Attracted new customers
    1. Has helped build brand awareness and reputation
    1. Employee morale

Since we have put a heavy focus on giving back, we have attracted new customers and seen an increase in brand recognition. As the sole franchisee in the South Florida market it has been a goal to become more identifiable in the community. Through these efforts, we have gained a strong employee morale as we are all proud of our contributions to the community.

Where can our readers find you on social media?

https://www.facebook.com/StonersPizzaJointFtLauderdale
https://www.instagram.com/stonerspizzaftlauderdale
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