A Slave Lake pizza place is paying it forward after a phone number mix up by local firefighters led to free pizza for first responders in Texas.
Alimo’s Pizza got its name from combining the names of the two brothers that own it, Ali and Moe Mouallem.
Their pizza place was the one a local firefighter meant to call Tuesday, but instead called Alamo Pizza in San Antonio, Texas.
The 18 large pizzas ordered by the Lesser Slave Regional Fire Service were delivered to two fire halls and a police station in San Antonio once the mistake was realized.
On Wednesday, the owners of Alimo’s in Slave Lake decided to pay it forward like their local firefighters did on Tuesday.
“One good deed deserves another good deed,” said Moe Mouallem.
Mouallem says they had over $300 donated, and delivered about 25 pizzas Wednesday.
The donors were businesses, community members, and people Mouallem says he met on the streets of Slave Lake.
“We tongue-in-cheek started random acts of pizza, and then randomly people started coming to us saying ‘here’s 100 bucks go make some people happy, go give out some pizzas,’” said Mouallem. “So far we’ve done over $300 worth of donations and I think 25 pizzas or so.”
In videos provided to CTV News Edmonton the brothers took to the streets of Slave Lake on Wednesday, with pizzas in hand.
“Why not put a smile on somebody’s face if you’re able to?”
Mouallem says he hopes that the recipients of the pizzas pay it forward to others around them.
“This started out as an international thing between Slave Lake and San Antonio, so why stop there?”
Community members were nominating people to receive the free pizzas said Mouallem.
“We’d get a message saying the people in the hospital are working really hard,” said Mouallem.
“Other people that we know are always going above and beyond, so we kind of took the initiative and found a few other businesses that we thought were deserving.”
People are happy and “legitimately surprised” by the free pizzas Mouallem says.
“You’d think that they won like $10,000 or a 50/50 lottery or something, they were so over the moon.”
Mouallem says his favourite delivery on Wednesday was to a man that was very suspicious of him at first.
“It took him a few minutes to convince him to take a free pizza, but at the end he was really happy about it.”
Mouallem says that Alimo’s pizza will match any donation up to 500 dollars, in an effort to continue paying it forward.
“Pizza makes people happy, surprises make people happy, so let’s spread it and make somebody’s day,” said Mouallem.
“Even if you can’t do a pizza you can do a coffee, you can help somebody unload their groceries, whatever you can do just in the spirit of giving. And obviously not just in the holidays… 365 days a year. If you’re able to help then why not?”
He hopes that other places will follow Alimo’s example and come up with their own way of paying it forward to continue the spirit of giving.
“If you’re able to help, pay it forward. Whatever you can do, bring some positivity into the world,” said Mouallem. “And last but not least, go Oilers!”
With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Jeff Lawrence.