Couple Opens Reno Pizzeria With a Mission
A couple who recently moved here from Ohio has settled in to this community and in just three months they have changed a lot of lives. They did it by following a dream - a dream to help those with special needs by putting them to work.
Walter Gloshinski is old enough to be retiring. But he's found himself building a dream that he's had for 25 years now. It involves pizza, something he's been making for 50 years now.
"We don't make Domino's Pizza here," he said. "These recipes are from Italy. It's the way my grandmother made it. The sauce is homemade. This is extra virgin olive oil infused with garlic and these spices are fresh."
Walter is serious about his pizza. And he's just as serious about his mission. You see he spent 25 years teaching special education and feels the system fails the very people they need to help.
"For all those years I saw kids come in with open hearts and the parents with such high hopes and they went from Special Education to nothingness. I mean sometimes it was the families who couldn't get them to a job or anywhere but more than that it was that there just weren't many options."
So his dream has been to create that option. That's what Smiling with Hope is about. They make pizza. Really good, authentic New York Pizza. And he strives to employ those with special needs.
"This has helped so much," says Wendy Hand whose son has a third-degree black belt in karate, and plenty of skills. "This gave him self-confidence and so many more skills. Like they count their tips here and they have to be able to deal with money and they have to work as a team."
He's not the only one. But he's a great example of the employees Walter looks for.
"It takes time to train these folks and a lot of patience and so if this were anything but pizza that I love to work with, it would be hard. But here I am old enough to retire and instead my wife and I have pumped $300,000 into this. But it is worth it. To see these kids all working is really a dream come true. I feel like I've done more in three months here than all 25 years I spent in the school systems."
You can find Smiling with Hope at 6135 Lakeside Drive near Windy Hill. Look for Suite #101. They are open from noon to 2 and 5-8 Tuesdays through Fridays. And Saturdays they are open 5-8.