Pizza restaurant owned, operated by the deaf to expand nationwide

It isn't the delicious pizza, or the throngs of customers waiting outside the doors to get in on any given night that first strikes you about Mozzeria in San Francisco's Mission district.

It's the silence.

In a fast-paced restaurant kitchen environment, the words "loud" and "chaos" may come to mind. Not at Mozzeria.

SF’s first-ever deaf-owned restaurant to franchise

Mozzeria in the Mission has a history of being a pioneer in the local and national food landscape.

When it opened in 2011, it was the city’s first-ever deaf-owned restaurant. At the time, it may have been the first of its kind in any major U.S. city, and it remains one of only a few in the entire country.

Now, the pizza outfit has plans to franchise, but to do so, it once again has to do something nobody else has done.

Deaf-Owned SF Pizzeria Will Expand Nationwide to Address Deaf Employment Gap

Mission District pizzeria and mobile pizza truck operation Mozzeria doesn’t just make exemplary Neapolitan-style pies. As a fully deaf-owned and operated business, it offers a powerful and all-too-uncommon example of deaf employment possibilities. Today, the nonprofit Communication Service for the Deaf recognized Mozzeria’s success, announcing major investment (the amount hasn’t been disclosed) in the Mozzeria business.

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The wood-fired pizza is “wonderful” at this “terrific” Mission Italian with “unique”, “engaging” service by a mostly deaf staff; visitors say they “value the challenge of communicating fully in a new way” (iPad or pen and pad are available), as well as the “quiet” environs, but the food is why they “keep going back.”


Mozzeria: Where the Pizza Speaks for Itself

As a third generation restaurateur, Melody Stein has always had the language of food coursing through her veins. While opening her own restaurant one day seemed like a natural progression, she soon found there was a long road ahead of her, as she was denied acceptance to culinary school because of her Deafness. But that didn’t stop her. She went on to get her degree in Hospitality Management, met her pizza-loving husband Russ, who is also Deaf, and they went to work.

The Very Best Pizza In San Francisco

The Neapolitan pizzas at Mozzeria are all cooked in a 5,000lb Stefano Ferrara oven in the center of the restaurant, so you can watch as your pies being prepared and cooked. There are traditional pizzas, but you want to go for one of the creative options instead: our current favorites are the Hosui Pear with pancetta and brie, and the Peking Duck. Oh, and NBD (actually huge deal), but Mozzeria is one of the only deaf-owned and operated restaurants in the country. No worries if you don’t know sign language; you place your order using pen and paper.