Blindness separates people from things. Deafness separates people from people. – Helen Keller
Located in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood, Mozzeria is a restaurant specializing in pizza cooked in a wood-burning oven. Menu items range from the classic Margherita pizza, to a Hosui Pear pizza, to a Peking Duck pizza, which was voted one of the 10 best dishes in the entire Bay Area in 2013 by Zagat. Upon walking through the doors, customers will also discover something unexpected: the staff and owners, Melody and Russell Stein, are mostly deaf.
When the Stein’s opened their restaurant in December 2011, they made the decision to hire an all-Deaf staff. “Deaf people have a harder time finding jobs. We’re lacking the networking in the hearing world,” says Melody Stein. In addition to providing a space where Deaf people can feel comfortable, the owners of Mozzeria are bridging a gap between the hearing and non-hearing communities by showing that understanding each other is not as challenging as it seems.
“All we ask from our customers is to have an open mind, an open heart, and an open stomach.”