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Melody always wanted to open a restaurant. Russ grew up on New York City pizza. So when it was time for a career change for the both of them, the answer seemed obvious: a wood-fired pizza restaurant they’d call Mozzeria.
Running a restaurant in San Francisco is no small feat. Operating costs, rent, taxes, and competition are all steep in the Bay Area’s saturated market. But Mozzeria has thrived, drawing raves reviews and awards from Zagat for their meticulously crafted dishes.
Their famous Peking Duck pizza isn’t the only thing that makes them unique, though. Melody and Russ are both deaf—alongside their entire staff. Too often, Melody explains, members of the deaf community have trouble finding jobs and building work experience. At Mozzeria, they work alongside bosses who understand their unique abilities and serve a loyal following of hearing and deaf customers alike.
“One thing I’m proud of that we do at our restaurant: We bring our communities together,” Russ concludes.