Five Questions with WE

Ally Svenson

Co-Founder,
MOD Pizza

After founding and selling two successful businesses in the U.K. – Seattle Coffee Company and Carluccio’s Ltd. – Ally and her husband, Scott, returned to their hometown of Seattle to raise their family and soon discovered a need for family-friendly dining options that were fast, healthy and affordable. This ignited them to explore ideas that combined their love of business, people and purpose. The result was MOD Pizza. The first MOD opened in 2008 in downtown Seattle, and the “pizza with a purpose” brand grew from there. Today, Ally serves as MOD’s Protector of the Purpose.

WHEN IS PURPOSE MORE IMPORTANT THAN BUSINESS?

Ten years in, we are convinced that the success of our business is absolutely linked to, and driven by, a purpose bigger than our product or profit. We like to say that pizza is actually a front for this bigger purpose!

HOW DOES PURPOSE SHOW UP IN YOUR ORGANIZATION?

MOD exist to serve people. Yes, in the obvious ways – we serve pizza every day. But perhaps less obvious is our belief that our job is to be of service to our people. If we take care of our people, they will take care of our customers and the business will take care of itself.

WHAT THREE ITEMS DO YOU ALWAYS CARRY IN YOUR PURSE?

Cookies, hair tie and hopefully a charged phone.

IN THREE WORDS, DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY?

DEFINITELY, servant leadership!

WHAT OTHER BRANDS DO YOU FEEL ARE DOING “PURPOSE” WELL?

Encouragingly, more and more organizations are focused on purpose. A few that continue to inspire us - Greyston Bakery, Hot Chicken Takeover, evo and TOMS®.

“MOD exists to serve people . . . If we take care of our people, they will take care of our customers and the business will take care of itself.”
– Ally Svenson

Leading with Purpose in an Age
Defined by It
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