National franchise gives back to community

Pit Pit donates more than $36,000 to organizations across P.E.I.

Dave Stewart dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on August 3, 2014

Brittany Gallant of Summerside's new Granville Street Pita Pit location was busy Thursday getting ready for the store's first day in business on Friday. This is the chain's second Prince Edward Island location and the first in Summerside.

©TC Media photo by Colin MacLean

A P.E.I. franchisee says it’s an awesome feeling when a business can give back to the community.

John Taylor operates two Pita Pit franchises in the province, one that opened a year ago in Charlottetown and another one in Summerside that opened Friday.

More than 200 franchisees and executives from head office in Ontario recently attended Pita Pit’s national conference in Brudenell. While they were here, representatives decided to donate more than $36,000 to Island charities.

“It’s an awesome feeling, just a great feeling when you can give back, whether you have to or not,’’ Taylor said.

It was Taylor’s decision where that money was going to go so he decided to divvy the money up. Three charities and organizations benefited.

Taylor decided that the lion’s share of the money should go to the Boys and Girls Club of Summerside $29,715.

“Since we’re opening in Summerside I thought it was good to give the Boys and Girls Club (money) because I’m all about the kids.’’

The next cheque was written for $5,364 and that went to the Prince Street Elementary School breakfast program in Charlottetown.

“They don’t get as many donations as some of the other schools. That’s why I picked that school. It’s an inner-city school and some of those kids don’t eat any breakfast before class.’’

Pita Pit also donated $1,000 worth of food to the Montague Food Bank.

“They were extremely low on food. Actually, they were almost out (of food).’’

Taylor said the 200 or so franchisees and executives came up with a few neat ideas to raise money at the national conference.

“All franchisees and corporate people bought and auctioned stuff off and they did some fun stuff, too. The CEOs of Pita Pit all shaved their heads. All the Pit Pit suppliers all pitched in $8,000 for the CEOs to shave their heads and they did. They were extremely generous.’’

One franchisee donated 150 books while another one paid $1,000 for 10 of those books.

“He didn’t have to do that. He wasn’t getting any publicity for it. Majority of the franchisees are very involved in their communities, fundraising for their local charities. Man, these people are very passionate about fundraising.’’

Taylor said he would have loved to have given to more charities “but you can only do so much’’.

He said donation to the Boys and Girls Club of Summerside will help the organization establish an addiction centre for teens.

“That’s going to go a long way for their work.’’

Pita Pit is located at the Sobey’s mall on Spencer Drive in Charlottetown and next to the new Starbucks on Granville Street in Summerside.’’

dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart