When Deluxe Corp. launched the Small Business Revolution as an entrepreneurial movement, they sent a documentary team across the country to capture and share the stories of small businesses—and their fantastic owners—as the best representations of the American entrepreneurial spirit. These are their stories:
Helen Keller once said, “Blindness separates people from things. Deafness separates people from people.” Mozzeria, a San Francisco restaurant that employs an all-deaf staff, is trying to change that.
When Melody and Russell Stein opened their wood-burning oven pizzeria in December 2011, they made the decision to hire an all-Deaf staff, regardless of prior experience. “Deaf people have a harder time finding jobs,” Melody says. “We’re lacking the networking in the hearing world.”
In addition to providing a space where Deaf people can feel comfortable, the owners of Mozzeria are bridging a gap between the hearing and non-hearing communities by showing that understanding each other is not as challenging as it seems. “All we ask from our customers is to have an open mind, an open heart, and an open stomach.”
It appears they do, as hundreds have given Mozzeria rave reviews on Yelp. One diner calls it reasonably priced, delicious pizza with a social justice vibe. “Reminds us the important lesson that ability/disability is a construct that we take for granted and make a lot of assumptions about on a daily basis.”
This originally appeared on SmallBusinessRevolution.org.