Melody Stein is a woman who's not letting a disability stop her from being a boss.
Melody is the co-owner of Mozzeria pizzeria in San Francisco. The establishment is home to Neopolitan- styled pizza, as well as exclusive employment for those suffering from deafness; something Stein holds close to her as she and husband, Russ, are deaf too!
They turned what could've been a weakness into triumph after opening the restaurant and two associated food trucks.
Her path of becoming a culinary mastermind wasn't always peaches and cream, however. Denial into the California Culinary Academy because she was viewed as a "liability" was a crushing blow. She told an interpreter for The Washington Post, that "[The Academy] called my mom and said we can’t accept her application because she’s deaf. What if they were in the kitchen trying to yell, ‘Out of the way!’ with hot soup?"
Today, the 45-year-old runs her own establishment and is now expanding to the east coast. A $7 million investment from the Communication Service for the Deaf Social Venture Fund is helping them open another Mozzeria on the ever-popular H. Street in Northwest, Washington D.C. The couple especially takes pride in the location knowing how close it is to their alma mater, Gallaudet University, a notorious institute for the deaf and hard of hearing.
Russ explained the secret to their success is amazing customer service thanks to their hearing impairment.
“We’re good at making sure our customer experience is a good one because we’re excellent at reading their body language. There’s nothing more powerful than seeing that customer smile after eating that pizza."
D.C., be ready to heighten those taste buds when Mozzeria makes its way there in 2020! See menu here.
Photo: The Washington Post (Clare Cassidy Photography)