Pizzability is a pizzeria founded last December by a special needs teacher in Denver, Colorado, with the express purpose of employing and providing job training to the disabled. The founder, Tiffany Fixter, wanted to show that those with disabilities can work. The restaurant now employs 25 of which eight are Special Olympics athletes.
The restaurant serves three kinds of pizza: cheese, pepperoni, and vegetarian pizza which features olive oil, garlic, wasabi arugula, sun-dried tomato, and balsamic glaze.
The pizzeria is barely a year old, and according to the founder, the restaurant has an uphill battle ahead: discrimination from the customers. In an interview with CBS4’s Tori Mason, Fixter shared painful stories of her employees overhearing unkind comments. Mason then posted about the pizzeria’s experience on her Facebook, urging attention and support for this restaurant.
The post was shared over 5,400 times with nearly a thousand comments, spurring just as many customers to visit Pizzability to support the employees. The restaurant even received employees from out of the state.
“It’s one thing to like and share it. It’s another thing for the entire community to actually come out and get in their cars and come here and eat,” said Fixter. “There [are] days where we sell two slices of pizza. We’ve never been so busy. I’m exhausted, but it’s great.”
The majority of the customers were parents to children with special needs. One parent, who brought two sons with special needs to the pizzeria, commented that it made her “sick to her stomach” that this discrimination exists today.
“People whisper and people talk, and it’s mainly adults,” said Mandy Gordy to WPIX 11 in New York.
Fixter especially invites those with a negative view to try Pizzability so they can see “what they’ve been missing. ”
“I hope they come in and give us a shot,” she said. “I mean, we sell beer and pizza!”