The Restaurant Redefining How to Build Community
“I really want to see deaf employees earn the respect that they deserve, so that when somebody walks in that doesn’t sign, they see that deaf people can do everything from owning a restaurant to bartending to cooking.” — Ryan Maliszewski, Mozzeria CEO
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The Resource Key Featured Brand this week is Mozzeria.
Mozzeria is a pizzeria located in Washington, DC that is known for their authentic wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas.
Why did The Resource Key want to feature Mozzeria?
We love that inclusion and accessibility is embedded within every area of Mozzeria. Some of the areas include, but are not limited to:
- Team: Mozzeria is working to increase career placement opportunities for Deaf people. “Employees can demonstrate their talent and feel a shared sense of belonging while serving delicious pizza.”
- Design: Core Architecture + Design designed a”highly visual and open space where people can communicate via sign across the room without barriers”
- Communication: American Sign Language (ASL), customers can communicate what they want by pointing to what they want to order, Purple Video Relay Service (on-demand sign language interpreting service when customer calls restaurant an interpreter is automatically connected to translate ASL and be a bridge between them and staff).
Mozzeria is building community by providing customers a “welcoming, memorable, and visual environment to experience Deaf culture while working to increase career placement opportunities for Deaf people.”
Partnerships: During the pandemic masks added an extra challenge, the restaurant invited a professor from Gallaudet who specializes in gestural communication—using eyebrows, eyes, and the whole body—to work with the team.
Mozzeria partnered with the CSD Social Venture Fund (an organization that invests in the growth of Deaf entrepreneurs) to help with expansion.
The Resource Key Experience?
Our CEO had the opportunity to meet some of the incredible staff: Aryzona “Aza”, David, Rafi, Tanya. The pizza was delicious, environment was relaxing and a wonderful setting to enjoy the delicious Fichi pizza (fig spread, chili flakes, chevre, fresh mozzarella, arugula, and balsamic glaze). There are many ways to order your pizza from online, tablets in the restaurant, paper and pen, gesturing or ASL. We are looking forward to visiting Mozzeria again soon.
Where to Follow and Stay Updated?
How to Support?
“I really want to see deaf employees earn the respect that they deserve, so that when somebody walks in that doesn’t sign, they see that deaf people can do everything from owning a restaurant to bartending to cooking.”
— Mozzeria CEO Ryan Maliszewski
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