HomeFoodHow Philly’s Down North Pizza Makes Jobs for the Previously Incarcerated

How Philly’s Down North Pizza Makes Jobs for the Previously Incarcerated


On high of constructing round 150 pizzas a day, Philadelphia’s Down North can also be working to decrease jail recidivism charges by offering previously incarcerated people with jobs, housing, and authorized illustration.

Govt chef Michael Carter himself spent 12 years incarcerated and explains that his love of Detroit-style pizza comes from the numerous position its performed all through his life: “…Pan pizza had a particular place in our hearts as a result of each Friday we had it in school and on particular events we had it on the penitentiary.”

To make the pan pizzas at Down North, they begin with a really hydrated dough. (The signature over-hydrating started as a contented accident when, on a very humid day, they seen the dough responding nicely.)

“Our dough is so resilient below the temperatures we put it in, and it stays delicate,” says Carter.

The pizzas are put into sq. pans after which Carter and chef Jamal Johnson press all the way down to do away with any air bubbles. By condensing the dough, they obtain the specified chewiness.

“With a purpose to get this good sq. pie, you need to press it into the corners,” says Carter. “It’s actual laborious work, nevertheless it’s value it, it’s a part of the craft. You’ve acquired to place that love into it.”

As soon as the dough begins rising and filling the corners of the pan, it goes into the oven and will get baked at 650 levels. After it’s finished baking, it will get topped with a four-cheese mix, and is returned to the oven. It’s then topped with traces of the sauce that’s made in home.

The final word purpose for Down North is to take away the employment obstacles that previously incarcerated people face once they depart jail. By offering folks with these alternatives and providing sources, they’re working to de-stigmatize incarceration and decrease recidivism charges of their neighborhood.

“We’re not simply in it to make a greenback. It comes as part of what our mission is, our premise, so far as what our purpose is. It’s to make change,” says Johnson. “We don’t rent no person until they’re beforehand convicted.”

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