A new pizzeria scheduled to open in the coming months in Washington, D.C. will have its entire staff consisting of deaf individuals.
Behind the business named “Mozzeria” is a hearing impaired couple, Melody and Russ Stein, who are currently operating a branch in San Francisco.
The husband and wife met each other while they were both attending D.C.’s Gallaudet University, which is known as the premier institution for the education of deaf and hard-of-hearing students, as well as research in the field.
“Russ and I are both excited about Mozzeria expanding to Washington, D.C. Having a restaurant in D.C. has been a long-time dream of ours. Washington, D.C. holds a special place in our hearts because that’s where we met at Gallaudet University. Washington, D.C. is considered a mecca for deaf people,” Melody Stein told in an interview with WJLA.
The D.C. location planned to be opened in north of Massachusetts Avenue will be their second store. All members of the staff hired by the pair at the pizzeria are deaf and able to use American Sign Language (ASL).
Mozzeria will be the second business with ASL-using employees on H Street after the Starbucks branch. It is expected to start working next spring.
A total of 48 percent of the country’s working age deaf population are in the labor force, according to the National Deaf Center. The figure is 72 percent for hearing adults of the same age range.
— Thomas Antonopoulos (@BottomLineNow) August 28, 2019
My best bud in college was deaf and could bake incredibly – didn’t use a timer just told me he could smell when things were ready to pull.
— Artfull Duderino (he/his/dude) (@dodgr007) August 28, 2019