How CEO Tom Gozney Used Pizza To Assist Him Keep Sober


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For many of us, 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 have been greater than only a enjoyable grasp—they have been a gateway to sobriety.

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

Why pizza events performed such a crucial function in Tom Gozney’s sobriety journey

In Gozney’s expertise, progress got here from adversity. “I turned to alcohol and medicines once I was younger, misplaced and struggling to grasp myself and the place I slot in on the planet,” he says. From a younger age, he felt totally different and annoyed by his lack of ability to grasp 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 all the things so tough when different children have been doing so properly. I knew I used to be succesful, however not having the ability to be taught in the identical textbook method slowly eroded my vanity, and I started appearing out by way of frustration,” he explains.

By the point he was in his early teenagers, Gozney had turned to substance misuse as a solution to escape from his actuality. “Medication and alcohol turned intertwined in my notion of who I used to be. They gave me an ideal sense of aid and allowed me to modify my mind off or a minimum of gradual it down for a bit,” he says. However issues shortly obtained out of his management. “It abruptly went from being a enjoyable escape to one thing so self-destructive and damaging. The more durable I attempted to get clear, the more severe it might grow to be, and it felt like a race to the underside,” Gozney says.

“In restoration, they are saying it’s essential to search out routines and actions that assist offer you objective and maintain you busy. Cooking with hearth began out as a device for me to reconnect with family members, but it surely shortly 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, nevertheless, Gozney discovered it robust to reintegrate into his early 20s buddy group of their partying heyday. “I didn’t need my sobriety to outline me and cease me from hanging out with my pals, however as a lot as I didn’t need to admit it, I used to be struggling to be in social conditions the place everybody was ingesting,” he says. That’s when pizza events got here into play.

“In restoration, they are saying it’s essential to search out routines and actions that assist offer you objective and maintain you busy. Cooking with hearth began out as a device for me to reconnect with family members, but it surely shortly turned a lot greater than that—it actually turned a lifestyle and an ideal supply of inspiration for me,” Gozney says. He would host pizza events and located that it was an effective way to really feel a way of neighborhood, since everybody would roll up their sleeves and prepare dinner collectively.

“I’ve at all times liked 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 in the end impressed me to begin Gozney,” he says.

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

To rejoice Gozney’s 15-year sobriety anniversary, his firm introduced a new partnership with three world charities that concentrate on supporting folks fighting substance misuse. The corporate’s U.S. accomplice is To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA), a non-profit devoted to serving to folks fighting despair, habit, 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 folks collectively, and TWLOHA has actually turned that keenness into motion by inspiring hope in these fighting drug and alcohol dependencies,” Gozney says of his firm’s U.S. charity accomplice. “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 fashioned 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 carefully intertwined. “Sadly, as an trade, I really feel like we’ve nonetheless obtained a protracted solution to go in relation to making our kitchens safer and more healthy workspaces—particularly in relation to using medicine and alcohol. Medication and alcohol can nonetheless all too typically function a coping mechanism to fight the stress and late hours that the atmosphere can repeatedly demand,” he explains.

Nonetheless, Gozney is hopeful concerning the trade’s future. “However the excellent news is, I really feel like there’s an enormous need from the trade as an entire to proceed to handle this concern, with some cooks and restaurateurs transferring mountains on this area to raised assist their groups,” he says. He hopes that by partnering with organizations like TWLOHA and being vocal about his journey by way of sobriety, change is only one pizza slice away.

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