Hero of the Week: Justine Zolotas of Pan’s Pizza

Throughout the week, our ACC Team searches through emails and news articles looking for someone who deserves to be the Hero of the Week… Find out how you can nominate a Hero of the Week at the bottom of the page.

In Vermont, a pizzeria owner and her family are serving up pizza at a discount.

Justine Zolotas’ mother Anne opened Pan’s Pizza in 1998. During the pandemic, the local staple started serving their community the best way they knew how by offering a pay-what-you-can model.

Justine said that she and her family came up with what they call a boat payment, so people didn’t have to ask for a discount outright if they’re struggling financially. If you’re in the blue boat, you pay 75 percent. The yellow boat pays 50 percent. The orange boat pays 25 percent, while the white boat pays nothing. The idea is for the customer to say what color boat they’re in.

Justine says while most customers pay full price, there are a few hundred who use the boat payment. No one has ever abused the system. If there is any question on payment, she said that the pizzeria will always err on the side of generosity.

The patrons love the idea! The pizzeria estimates that hundreds of people have benefited from this way of doing things.

Learn more about Pan’s Pizza’s impact in their community here.

Kix’s Response:

To Justine and the Zolotas family in South Hero, Vermont, we’re happy to recognize you as our ACC Heroes of the Week.

Nominate a Hero of the Week

Now, we want to know who has made a difference in your life. Nominate a local firefighter, police officer, EMT or someone who is serving our country in the military. It could even be a neighbor, family member or friend who lent a crucial helping hand. Let us know all about the person who you feel is a real life hero by emailing us here and please feel free to send us a picture!

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