Meet Shawndell Pullam and Ryan Whitfield, two best friends who founded and own BurnBox Pizza, a Black-owned vegan pizza restaurant chain in Maryland that aims to provide visitors with an uplifting and nutritious experience. They provide brick oven pizzas with 25 toppings, including vegan and vegetarian alternatives, fresh salads, and baked buffalo wings, all made with high-quality ingredients.
Shawndell and Ryan, who also own six Smoothie King franchises, say they are tackling the hunger crisis by leveraging their fast-casual pizza shops to encourage happiness and fulfill humanitarian needs in communities.
Shawndell comments, “In our hometown of PG County, Maryland alone there are over half a million people struggling with hunger.” This has inspired them to donate a free pizza back to the community for every one sold.
“We’re more than just your neighborhood pizza shop,” he says. “We’re a pizza eatery with a mission: Fight hunger in the community through customer donations. The more people we feed, the happier we are. Not just as a company, but as a society.”
In addition to being successful entrepreneurs, both Shawndell and Ryan are also the best-selling authors of Now Open: How We Built A Multi-Million Dollar Franchise Business In 12 Months, which teaches aspiring entrepreneurs how to be successful in the industry.
Their restaurants are located in the cities of Waldorf and Kettering, Maryland, and they are planning to open new locations soon. Franchise opportunities are available.