After a difficult expertise with substance misuse, Gozney discovered solace and assist in making pizzas for his family and friends, which served as a important 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 important function 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 grasp myself and the place I slot in on the earth,” he says. From a younger age, he felt totally different and pissed off by his incapability to grasp why. “Unbeknownst to me, I had dyslexia. However it was at a time when dyslexia wasn’t actually acknowledged, and I didn’t perceive why I discovered every part so tough when different children had been doing so effectively. I knew I used to be succesful, however not having the ability to study in the identical textbook means slowly eroded my shallowness, and I started appearing out by means of frustration,” he explains.
By the point he was in his early teenagers, Gozney had turned to substance misuse as a method to escape from his actuality. “Medicine and alcohol grew to become intertwined in my notion of who I used to be. They gave me an amazing 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 bought out of his management. “It rapidly 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 might change into, and it felt like a race to the underside,” Gozney says.
“In restoration, they are saying it’s essential to seek out routines and actions that assist provide you with goal and maintain you busy. Cooking with hearth began out as a instrument for me to reconnect with family members, nevertheless it shortly grew to become 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 robust to reintegrate into his early 20s pal 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 seek out routines and actions that assist provide you with goal and maintain you busy. Cooking with hearth began out as a instrument for me to reconnect with family members, nevertheless it shortly grew to become a lot greater than that—it actually grew to become a lifestyle and an amazing 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 cook dinner collectively.
“I’ve all the time cherished working with my palms, 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 grew to become. The entire course of, from kneading the dough to creating the sauce to lighting the hearth, grew to become 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 combating psychological well being
To rejoice Gozney’s 15-year sobriety anniversary, his firm introduced a new partnership with three international charities that target supporting folks combating substance misuse. The corporate’s U.S. accomplice is To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA), a non-profit devoted to serving to folks combating despair, 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 folks collectively, and TWLOHA has actually turned that zeal into motion by inspiring hope in these combating 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 change into 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 carefully intertwined. “Sadly, as an trade, I really feel like we’ve nonetheless bought an extended method to go in terms of making our kitchens safer and more healthy workspaces—particularly in terms of using medication and alcohol. Medicine and alcohol can nonetheless all too typically function a coping mechanism to fight the strain and late hours that the atmosphere can commonly 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 an entire to proceed to deal with this subject, with some cooks and restaurateurs shifting mountains on this area to higher assist 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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