Blue Fern Travel Favorites: Deaf-owned Food and Drink Businesses in D.C.
Since DC has one of the largest deaf populations in the country, we wanted to share the history of higher education that gave students an opportunity to succeed and 2 local businesses helping future generations to see they are represented in the community.
In 1816, Laurent Clerc and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet left Paris to open the United State’s first school for deaf. In 1864, they expanded their work to higher education. In 1894, the name changed to Gallaudet College as tribute to the man behind the institution and with an act from Congress, was granted the title of university in 1986 with Gallaudet University.
Today, students can earn a bachelor of arts or science degree and go on to complete a graduate degree as well.
Fun fact: All diplomas of Gallaudet graduates are signed by the sitting President of the United States of America.
Gallaudet University continues to be a beacon of inspiration for the advancement of deaf and hard of hearing people. With such great education, some of their own continue to find success in their alma mater’s city.
Jon Cetrano, Mark Burke, and Sam Costner left DC after graduating from Gallaudet but all returned to the area. Jon and Mark used to brew at home and when the three friends got around to drinking the fruits of their labor, they had a great idea to start doing it professionally!
They opened Streetcar 82 in Hyattsville, MD in 2018 in a repurposed garage. The name comes from an actual streetcar that ran until the 50s, the route connecting all three of their guys’ neighborhoods. It’s one of the few def-owned breweries in the country and they feel it was important to bring a place to relax and enjoy beer together to their community.
Melody and Russ Stein opened up Mozzeria’s flagship location in San Francisco in 2011 and their DC location opened in 2020.
The Neapolitan pizzeria on H Street not only makes delicious pizzas to enjoy, but provides employment to Gallaudet University students who are interested in the culinary arts. Chef Jeff Perri heads the location and has an extensive resume perfect to mentor aspiring young chefs.
We actually interviewed Perri for our series DC Culinary Download- Mozzeria DC where we discuss his journey as a chef and the story behind the perfect pizza.
DC is filled with amazing entrepreneurs defying barriers to pursue their passions and share their stories. All you have to do is now where to look!
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