No one can underestimate the power of media, and I’m amazed by the experiences we have had in the short time since December when Mozzeria opened to the general public. I still remember the first article that ran on Mozzeria. That article dubbed Mozzeria as the "Deaf Restaurant", and the "Deaf Restaurant" term spread like wildfire in the media!
I could understand how, and why, the media would become fascinated with Deaf people running a business, and want to tout this angle in their stories.
New restaurants open every week and we become curious to discover what kind of food they offer. I would dare guess that of the hundreds of thousands of restaurants in the States, about ten restaurants are owned/run by Deaf people. When Mozzeria entered the restaurant scene, people became naturally interested in finding out more about the “Deaf couple who had spent all their adult lives working with Deaf people or serving Deaf clients launching Mozzeria.”
I love reading food blogs and restaurant sites, and like to try out new food at these restaurants. I would look at who owned the restaurant, or who is its chef. I think of these foodies who read, and subscribe to food blogs, and had never heard of us before. I was somewhat concerned about Mozzeria being labeled as “the Deaf Restaurant”. I wanted to change that perception, and have people who actually want to come to Mozzeria just to try out our Neapolitan pizzas.
Don't get me wrong... I have been really blessed by the media wanting to do stories on Mozzeria. As we solidify our presence and get taken seriously, I am now trying to get them to focus more on our food although I am really ok with references to us being Deaf as background material in these stories.
As Mozzeria approaches its three month anniversary, we are seeing a lot of repeat businesses from customers who raved and return to eat our Neapolitan pizzas. We count on these customers to spread word about our food. There have been times that some of these customers turn out also to be food writers.
Slice, a well-known national Pizza blog, printed just this morning a review on Mozzeria. Seth Mazow had visited Mozzeria just the other day, and his review can be viewed at http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2012/03/san-francisco-ca-mozzeria.html.
Thanks Seth for a Great review!
Next week is the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas. It would be our third trip to Pizza Expo, but you know what, I am so excited this time we can actually say to our peers at Pizza Expo that we have finally opened Mozzeria! I will share my experiences at Pizza Expo next week.
Have a great week!