I love pizza! Matter of fact, I love it so much that I have it every Friday. If the urge hits me, I may have it twice a week. My favorite is a deluxe from Dayton’s very own Cassano’s. My love for pizza is so bad that even my dog Tiny understands that I may have an obsession. When I say the magic word, her ears stick straight up. She may have had a piece a time or two.
When I found out about a married couple whom is deaf that opened a pizza restaurant, it made me love pizza even more.
Melody Stein and husband Russ own Mozzeria in San Francisco. Russ came up with the unique name because of his love of mozzarella cheese. It was such a great success that they’re now about to open a second in Washington. Thanks to an investor who gives to organizations that focus around deafness, Melody and Russ will now venture into chain status.
But it wasn’t always easy for Melody. She dreamed of opening a restaurant and going to the California Culinary Academy. So imagine how she felt when her application was denied due to her deafness. She was given the poor excuse of being a liability because she couldn’t hear.
Instead of dismissing her dream because someone said no, Melody decided to take matters into her own hands and open her own restaurant. You know how the saying goes, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. All throughout your life you will have someone who will not be willing to give you a chance, but it’s up to you to take the bull by the horns and “Make Things Happen”.
The new Mozzeria will be in the same area where Gaullaudet University is located. Gaullaudet University is a school for the deaf and hard of hearing. It’s also where Melody and Russ met. Another thing I think is pretty cool…the couple only hires others that are deaf and hard of hearing. Studies show, the workforce is difficult to break into for those with disabilities. People with hearing disabilities are not exempt from this barrier. As people who’ve already been through the struggle of prejudice and employment, the Steins understand the struggle on a personal level and are going to lend a hand up to others. If you’re wondering how do customers communicate with employees? Paper and pens are on each table to handle the communication barrier and I would imagine when that doesn’t work one can pull out their cell phone and jot a note. At least that’s what I do when someone doesn’t understand me.
I think the new Mozzeria will do well. I truly hope to make it there one day. Hopefully, the Stein’s chain will be so successful that one will land in Dayton, OH. Keep dreams alive, for you never know, they just might come true.
Just a note: the California Culinary Academy is now closed!