The huge black dome at the end of the Pizza counter with the name, Stefano Ferrara Napoli branded in it is the driving force behind Mozzeria, an upscale pizza place owned by Melody and Russell Stein, in San Francisco. Burning Almond wood has proven to be the perfect consistency for Mozzeria’s pizzas. Their pizzas cook in exactly 90 seconds and provide a perfect consistency for the guest.

Steering away from standard toppings, they serve Duck pizza which has proven to be a favorite among visitors. The idea for Mozzeria came up way before the idea for a pizza place came up. Melody is a third generation restaurateur and wanted to own a yogurt joint. One night the couple sat down over Italian food and talked about why Russell was not more involved with the process. He told her that watching yogurt come out of the machine in a perfect swirl did not excite him.

Melody, wanting Russell to be more involved in the process asked him what he would want and he said, “Italian”. This is after they already had a name for the yogurt place along with a logo already designed. After much discussion, the couple decided that they would spend the next two years learning about pizza and what makes dough unique. After going all the way to Italy to learn all about the trade, they came back to America and built a pizza oven in their back yard.

When they discovered that their studies paid off, they had to decide what kind of flour, test various types of pizza toppings, and go to Pizza Expo. The pizza expo was a mind-blowing experience for them. After two rows, they were stuffed and still had 22 more rows to go! 100-300 thousand people go the Pizza Expo every year and that is where they were able to make some of their contacts and decisions.

Mozzeria is the real deal, they make sure that a large majority of their products are made in store with exception to meat and cheese which are imported from Italy among two other things. Even their pasta and dough are made in store which is why Russell does not recommend eating the gluten free pizza that they provide in store if the guest truly is allergic to gluten. This warning comes with a strong sense of responsibility from the owners because the last thing they want to do is mislead anybody.

Mozzeria opened their doors on December 9, 2011 and have already accomplished something that only 482 stores in the world before Mozzeria have accomplished. They are Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN) Certified. This means that Mozzeria makes Neapolitan pizzas according to their policies and follow a 300 year old method. This is an honor that has made “Mozzeria the first Deaf-owned pizzeria to have an AVPN certification.”(Russell Stein)

Written by Mary Pat Withem