Pizza Place in The Mission Takes Deaf Owned Eatery to Another SF First

San Franciscans love their pizza. One mathematically-and-pizza inclined person calculated that we in SF have 39,000 pizzas delivered every day. Or almost 541,000 every week. That’s only for delivery. Factor in eating at actual pizza eateries, or even buying from grocery stores, and you have megatons of pizzas eaten every year in San Francisco.

And now to add to our pizza lore, there’s a great little pizzeria over The Mission called Mozzeria that was started up Russ and Melody Stein. It’s Neapolitan-style and very popular with locals who line up out the door every night, and they have a food truck and do catering. But what makes this place very special is that Russ and Melody are deaf. They went through a lot to get their place open, taking two years to find the capital, which was turned down by banks not wanting to commit to deaf business owners in an already crowded restaurant market. But the two eventually got the funding, including a lot of help from organizations dedicated to entrepreneurs with disabilities. All of Mozzeria’s employees are deaf.

Now, in another first for SF citizens, the pair are the first deaf restaurant entrepreneurs to go for a franchise operation across the country, and to hire deaf people into the operation. Melody Stein recognized the franchise opportunity for deaf-employee pizza restaurants on a food truck tour she did across the U.S. The first franchise is slated to open this summer in 2018.