Edinburgh Pure Pizza free pizza offer running until end of January will cost owner almost £40,000

Pure Pizza offered free pizza to everyone in Edinburgh
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A takeaway owner who offered everyone in Edinburgh a free pizza says he now expects the giveaway to cost him three times the amount he budgeted for.

Marc Wilkinson, of Pure Pizza in Morningside, launched his generous offer on January 1, saying it would last all month. Customers were invited to pick up a free pizza from the shop on Morningside Drive outwith the hours of 5.30pm to 8.30pm, seven days a week. He described it as an act of kindness amid the cost of living crisis.

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But Marc began to panic when more people than he had expected started to turn up and he says he has now given away thousands of pizzas, but remains determined to keep the offer running until the end of January.

Pure Pizza owner Mark Wilkinson outside his Morningside Drive shop.Pure Pizza owner Mark Wilkinson outside his Morningside Drive shop.
Pure Pizza owner Mark Wilkinson outside his Morningside Drive shop.

He told the BBC: "At first it felt so exciting because everyone who was coming to the shop was saying what a great thing I was doing and it was a nice feeling, I felt like Santa. But as the days went on a lot more people were turning up than I thought there would be. I started to panic at the thought of this happening for the whole month and that I would run out of funds. I was dreading the moment of having to decide to put a stop to it."

He had set aside £12,000 for the free pizzas, but now thinks the final cost will be about three times as much. He has, however, had some financial contributions from people impressed with the initiative. There was one donation of several hundred pounds from a businessman in India, as well as other smaller contributions and donations of ingredients from suppliers. And he has started a JustGiving page to help meet the cost.

"My brain was working overtime when I realised I might not be able to cope with this but it all changed when I started receiving donations. I realised that there were people all over the world willing to help me. It has been very stressful but I'm still glad I did it and I don't want to stop it."