Charity to get a pizza the profits

A charity is to get a pizza the profits thanks to a generous businessman.

Thursday, 5th May 2016, 9:03 am
Updated Thursday, 5th May 2016, 10:06 am
Maz Mohammadi outside his pizza parlour in Ashington.

Pizzeria owner Maz Mohammadi is celebrating the lives of his parents who died from cancer by naming a fundraising pizza after them.

Maz is giving money from every Abby Montana pizza sold by his business in Woodhorn Road, Ashington, to good causes nominated by his customers, including Macmillan Cancer Support.

Maz Mohammadi's parents.

His father Abby cared for his mother Montana in their native Iran while she battle cancer before developing the disease himself.

Iran does not have any publicly funded healthcare and Maz sent his earnings back to Iran to pay for their treatment.

He said: “When I took over Sorrento’s, I sent every hard earning penny I could back to Iran to pay for my mum’s treatment. My dad cared for her while she was sick, then he became ill with cancer too.

“Iran doesn’t have an NHS or services like Macmillan – if it did, I wouldn’t have had to worry so much about the care my parents were getting.

Maz Mohammadi's parents.

“Now I want to say thank you to the people who supported my business when I needed them and allowed me to support my parents’ care.

“I have asked my customers to select a charity for the past three months and Macmillan Cancer Support was selected and they will receive the profits from sales of that particular pizza.”

Maz has renamed the Sorrento special – the pizzeria’s most popular dish – after his mum and dad and is aiming to sell as many as possible.

He originally came to the UK to study music and while working in a part-time kitchen job to fund his studies, he realised his future lay in catering.

He promised his mother that one day he would have chains of pizza shops named after her and his father, and the Abby Montana pizza is the first step in that journey.

Maz said: “It has been a very difficult time. Fortunately, I was able to get back to Iran to say goodbye to them for the last time and see them before they passed away.

“I really look up to my father as a hero for looking after my mother while battling cancer himself, and looking after my brother who suffers from epilepsy. By naming a pizza after my parents – and in the future, giving their names to a chain of shops – I want to remember them, and help other people who are suffering from terrible diseases, poverty or other conditions.”

Sorrento’s was the first pizza takeaway to open in Ashington more than 30 years ago and Maz has been running the business for six years.