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St. Petersburg pizza shop owner feeds ‘our true heroes’ for free

Something Good

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Matt McClellan, the owner of a restaurant in St. Petersburg, called it “inspiration served daily.” He chose that phrase to refer to the stack of eight empty pizza boxes standing outside of Tour de Pizza.

The display is meant to meet the needs of the frontline workers battling the coronavirus.

“I wanted to do something to honor the fire and the EMT and the police force and the first responders who are our true heroes,” said McClellan.  

He said the recipe for success is simple. You choose a size, you grab a marker, and, finally, you pick the type of pizza you would like him to make for you.

“We will fill the box,” he said, “and we will give them a free dinner and a slice of joy.”

McClellan has been providing that “slice of joy” in the form of pizza for years, because he sees a piece of pizza as more than a combination of dough and toppings.

He actually created the “pizza diet.”

“I wanted to change the perception of my industry from junk food to health food,” he said.

McClellan rode a bike from St. Petersburg to New York City on that diet in 2010 and, then, he became a professional bodybuilder with pizza as his only source of fuel in 2016. He decided to put pizza to the test in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I feed people when they are hungry and that feels more fulfilling than anything I have ever accomplished personally,” said McClellan. “If I can help cheer you up and give you a slice of inspiration and a little joy your way, I would be honored to do so and that is what it is. It is about giving back.”

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