National Disability Employment Awareness Month: Jill’s Raspberry Jam

Have you tried our Old Fashioned Raspberry or Raspberry Jalapeno jam? We purchase most of our raspberries from outside produce companies, but a small portion of the fruit we use is grown by one of our employees, Jill, and her family. Jill, along with her parents, Mary and Marlin, grow and pick raspberries in their back yard for A Different Kind of Jam every year. But once the fruit is picked, Jill’s job is not done. When Jill brings the raspberries to Steamers, she helps process (wash, dry, and cut) and cook the fruit and jar and label the jam. Next time you enjoy a jar of raspberry jam, look for Jill’s name on the lid! All of our jar lids are labeled with the name of the person who helped make that batch of jam. So, even if you don’t see Jill’s name, you still know whose hard work to celebrate! At Steamers and Jack’s, we believe celebrating milestones, however big or small, is an important aspect of employment. Taking the time to acknowledge a job well done or a new skill learned serves as a great reminder that all of the hard work and patience is worth it. What I love most about Jill is that she is always celebrating others. Whether it’s a hi-five after serving food to the customers or a soda for the cooks when the restaurant is busy, Jill makes sure everyone feels appreciated. She greets everyone with a smile and a fist bump, for good measure. All of the support Jill gives to others is returned to her. When Jill arrives to work, our back of house staff suddenly becomes a chorus. You can hear cheers and chants ringing out from the kitchen, welcoming Jill to work. That’s the beauty of our restaurant. We all work together, celebrate successes, and support each other, even on the hardest days. Because of our customers, we are able to employ about 60 adults with disabilities. Each time you grab a quick cup of coffee on the way to work, join us for half-priced slider nights on Wednesdays, or buy a jar of jam, you are making a real difference in the lives of our employees with and without disabilities. By supporting us, our customers give employees like Jill the opportunity to learn new work skills, try new things, and thrive. Saying thank you does not seem…