A Boston “fair wage” pizza shop that prided its commitment to economic justice is closing its doors after only two years in business, citing financial struggles.
Dudley Dough in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, billed as “Pizza with Purpose,” will shut down in December after failing to meet sales expectations, Bing Broderick, executive director for the nonprofit Haley House, which runs the shop, said in a statement Monday.
“Our very compelling and aspirational vision for a fair-wage pizza shop was vital and appreciated, but after two years of operation, it is still far from breakeven, which is necessary for its success (to be able to elevate staff wages further, which is a central tenet of the mission),” Mr. Broderick said. “Our board determined that Haley House could not continue to subsidize it — to remain open would involve jeopardizing Haley House for the future.”
According to Dudley Dough’s Facebook page, workers received wages above industry standards and received “the direct economic benefit of their labors through profit sharing.” The shop gave out free pizza four days a week to students of local math tutoring program Pie R Squared and hosted weekly events like “Social Justice Mondays.”
The goal was for the shop to eventually support itself. Even Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s $100,000 donation couldn’t keep it afloat, The Boston Globe reported.
Luther Pinckney, a team leader at the shop, said the venture was an “experiment” that didn’t pan out.
“I don’t think anyone is looking at it as a failure,” he told The Globe. “It’s an experiment, and some very good things came out of that, such as skill-building for staff and being in this building at this time of gentrification and change in this community.”
“It’s not easy, but I know it’s the right decision,” Mr. Broderick added. “Everybody wanted it to work. We all invested a lot of our hearts in it.”
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