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How CEO Tom Gozney Used Pizza To Help Him Stay Sober

For many people, pizza events entail an off-the-cuff gathering centered round a couple of bins of supply pizza. However for UK entrepreneur Tom Gozney, pizza events had been greater than only a enjoyable cling—they had been a gateway to sobriety.

After a difficult expertise with substance misuse, Gozney discovered solace and help in making pizzas for his family and friends, which served as a vital turning level in his restoration journey. It additionally impressed him to discovered his personal firm, known as Gozney, which makes restaurant-quality pizza ovens and equipment for residence kitchens, in 2010. Now, the profitable CEO is paying it ahead to others experiencing substance misuse by means of new charity partnerships.

Why pizza events performed such a vital position in Tom Gozney’s sobriety journey

In Gozney’s expertise, development got here from adversity. “I turned to alcohol and medicines once I was younger, misplaced and struggling to know myself and the place I slot in on the earth,” he says. From a younger age, he felt completely different and pissed off by his lack of ability to know why. “Unbeknownst to me, I had dyslexia. But it surely was at a time when dyslexia wasn’t actually acknowledged, and I didn’t perceive why I discovered the whole lot so tough when different children had been doing so properly. I knew I used to be succesful, however not with the ability to be taught in the identical textbook approach slowly eroded my shallowness, and I started performing out by means of frustration,” he explains.

By the point he was in his early teenagers, Gozney had turned to substance misuse as a option to escape from his actuality. “Medication and alcohol turned intertwined in my notion of who I used to be. They gave me an incredible sense of reduction and allowed me to change my mind off or a minimum of gradual it down for a bit,” he says. However issues rapidly received out of his management. “It unexpectedly went from being a enjoyable escape to one thing so self-destructive and damaging. The tougher I attempted to get clear, the more serious it could grow to be, and it felt like a race to the underside,” Gozney says.

“In restoration, they are saying it’s necessary to search out routines and actions that assist offer you goal and hold you busy. Cooking with hearth began out as a device for me to reconnect with family members, however it rapidly turned a lot greater than that.” —Tom Gozney, CEO, Gozney

After surviving a violent bodily assault, he realized with the encouragement of his family members that it was time to go to rehab. There, he met a counselor named Oliver who helped him get sober. After rehab, nonetheless, Gozney discovered it powerful to reintegrate into his early 20s good friend group of their partying heyday. “I didn’t need my sobriety to outline me and cease me from hanging out with my buddies, however as a lot as I didn’t wish to admit it, I used to be struggling to be in social conditions the place everybody was consuming,” he says. That’s when pizza events got here into play.

“In restoration, they are saying it’s necessary to search out routines and actions that assist offer you goal and hold you busy. Cooking with hearth began out as a device for me to reconnect with family members, however it rapidly turned a lot greater than that—it actually turned a lifestyle and an incredible supply of inspiration for me,” Gozney says. He would host pizza events and located that it was a good way to really feel a way of neighborhood, since everybody would roll up their sleeves and cook dinner collectively.

“I’ve all the time beloved working with my arms, and so I’d throw myself into making pizzas. It helped me drown out the noise, and I discovered the extra I targeted on the meals, the quieter these voices turned. The entire course of, from kneading the dough to creating the sauce to lighting the fireplace, turned part of a ritual for me, and that have is what finally impressed me to start out Gozney,” he says.

How Gozney is paying it ahead for these fighting psychological well being

To have fun Gozney’s 15-year sobriety anniversary, his firm introduced a brand new partnership with three world charities that concentrate on supporting individuals fighting substance misuse. The corporate’s U.S. associate is To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA), a non-profit devoted to serving to individuals fighting melancholy, dependancy, self-injury, and suicide. Gozney (the corporate) will donate $100,000 in proceeds from gross sales of the model’s Tom Gozney Signature Version Roccbox ($599) to those organizations, together with TWLOHA.

“We each have a deep ardour for bringing individuals collectively, and TWLOHA has actually turned that zeal into motion by inspiring hope in these fighting drug and alcohol dependencies,” Gozney says of his firm’s U.S. charity associate. “We’re extraordinarily honored to work with them and to assist unfold the message that it’s okay to not be okay.”

As these top-of-the-line pizza ovens proceed to succeed and grow to be fan favorites amongst cooks, Gozney has shaped shut relationships with these within the restaurant and hospitality trade—a area rampant with substance abuse and poisonous work environments the place meals and medicines are sometimes intently intertwined. “Sadly, as an trade, I really feel like we’ve nonetheless received an extended option to go with regards to making our kitchens safer and more healthy workspaces—particularly with regards to using medicine and alcohol. Medication and alcohol can nonetheless all too usually function a coping mechanism to fight the stress and late hours that the surroundings can usually demand,” he explains.

Nonetheless, Gozney is hopeful in regards to the trade’s future. “However the excellent news is, I really feel like there’s an enormous want from the trade as a complete to proceed to deal with this problem, with some cooks and restaurateurs shifting mountains on this area to raised help their groups,” he says. He hopes that by partnering with organizations like TWLOHA and being vocal about his journey by means of sobriety, change is only one pizza slice away.

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