The smell of fresh-baked cookies fills the air at Crumbles Bakery in Boardman while bakers Aaron and Nick get brownie bites ready for the holiday rush.
The staff at Crumbles Bakery is made up of 12 to 13 individuals with developmental disabilities.
“It’s a fantastic staff that works here. THe people who work here, training these developmentally disabled adults into working here. It’s just an awesome experience,” said customer Jim Lipjanic.
The bakery was originally a training center from Turning Point Residential, but it blossomed into a real business.
The staff is first trained at Turning Point if they choose to, can be hired at the bakery.
“They’ve had the opportunity before they came here and since they got here to really develop an area of expertise, so each of them have something special they can contribute,” said Sharron Jackson.
Some become skilled in baking with brownie bites, pies cookies and macaroons. Others find satisfaction in crafting, cleaning and maintaining the building.
Jackson hopes more businesses will consider hiring people with disabilities.
“They’re genuine, sincere and hardworking, and generally they have a very good work ethic and people who don’t give them a try are kind of missing out,” Jackson said.
“Even if you come here in a bad mood in the morning, as soon as you see a smile on their face, you’re in a great mood,” Jim said.
Crumbles Bakery is located on Market Street.