By Kristina Dougherty, David Madden
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Want to eat pizza with the pope? Well, a drawing of the pope.
By now you’ve likely seen someone selling some type of pope paraphernalia, whether it be cardboard pope cut outs, toaster designs, or even umbrellas.
But it seems nothing has caught on as quickly as the Pope Francis pizza box, created by Amanda Farese.
Amanda, who is the Marketing Director of Savona-Stavola Food Service and an artist, says, “I came up with the idea from just thinking of different things we could do for our customers during this time because everyone will be affected greatly, especially restaurants bringing in so much more business during the Pope Visit weekend.”
The box features Pope Francis standing in front of the city skyline with the words “Welcome Pope Francis” in the background.
Amanda says, “The boxes began going out for delivery on August 21st and we have been getting so much positive feedback. I heard from customers that people are actually just going to the pizza places for the box. “
She adds, “People are also sharing their photos on Instagram with #PopePizzaBox which is located on the side of the box. There has been hundreds of posts so far, so it’s been pretty great. The boxes will be out for the month of September.”
As KYW Newsradio’s David Madden reports, in Mullica Hill, Gloucester County, Marino’s Pizza owner Anthony Marino thought the boxes, while a nice gesture, were inappropriate. His shop goes through about a thousand boxes a week and says he had no idea the new ones were coming.
When they did, he picked up the phone and called his supplier.
“I spoke with them and they were fine with swapping out boxes,” Marino told KYW Newsradio. “It was not a big deal for them.”
The company says there have been few, if any complaints aside from Marino’s. Farese says it’s been well received for the most part.
“We’ve been actually overwhelmed with how positive things have been from this and it’s been working really well for the customers,” said Farese. “They’ve been telling me that people are just coming to get the boxes and framing them.”
Farese is also a budding artist and drew the picture that’s now on top of thousands of pizza boxes in our region. She’s also working on what she calls “creative educational things” with a school in South Philadelphia to help students become more aware of what’s going on around them through artistic expression on pizza boxes.
She insists she respects Marino’s feelings and meant no offense. For his part, Marino doesn’t consider this a big deal either and believes the supplier addressed his concerns in a quick and fair fashion.
If you want to get a Pope Francis pizza box of your own, they are being sold at: Pizza Brain (Fishtown), Slice (both locations), Not Just Pizza (South Philly), Capofitto, Little Anthony’s (Media, Pa.), Cocco’s Pizza (Downingtown, Pa.), Cocco’s Pizza (Primos, Pa.), Venice Pizza (Malvern, Pa.), Angelo’s Pizza (Berlin, NJ), Angelo’s Pizza (Larchmont Blvd., Mt. Laurel, NJ), Angelo’s Pizza (Union Mill Rd., Mt. Laurel, NJ), Riccardo’s (Beverly, NJ), Scotto’s Pizza (Berlin, NJ), Zio’s Tuscan Grille (Cinnaminson, NJ), Mama Francesca’s (Swedesboro, NJ), Not Just Pizza (Sicklerville, NJ), Carollo’s, (Pennsauken, NJ) and Divincenzo’s (Cinnaminson, NJ.)