Many of our customers order whole pies and jam over the holidays. This year, for Thanksgiving alone, we sold about 100 pies! It makes us happy to know that the hard work our employees put into making those pies will be showcased on dinner tables all over Denver. It’s no secret that our employees with disabilities are involved in every step of making jam, but did you know they also help to make pies and other sweet treats we sell in the restaurant? Our baker, Megan, has made it a priority to include our employees with disabilities in the bakery and teach them new skills. Turns out, they teach her some important lessons, too! Read below to get to know Megan and how baking with people with disabilities encourages her to be present, in the moment.
How did you get into baking?
My first memory of baking is with my mother, making chocolate chip cookies. I grew up watching my family cook and bake. For my twelfth Christmas, all I wanted was a KitchenAid mixer; the first thing I mixed was crust for lemon bars! Ever since then I have enjoyed baking.
It’s the holidays! Growing up, what sweet treats did your family serve? What is your favorite holiday treat?
Growing up, my family always served pie and cookies. My favorite holiday treat would have to be pie-dough scraps that have been baked off. Growing up, I would always make pumpkin pie with my Grandma. We would always save the leftover dough and toss it in cinnamon and sugar, then bake it.
What is your favorite thing to bake?
Cinnamon Rolls. Working with dough is soothing, methodical and brings my mind into focus.
You started doing these Friday specials that everyone loves; what is the motivation behind that?
My motivation for the Friday specials is to allow both customers and myself try new things. I am grateful for the opportunity to express myself creatively through baking.
What are some other off-menu items you would like to bake?
Eclairs and tarts.
What is your favorite part about working with people with disabilities? Do you have a favorite memory, so far?
My favorite part about working with our clients is that they are honest, uplifting and hard-working. I have a lot of favorite memories about working with people with disabilities. Too many to answer in just a few sentences! I love hearing about their weekends, what movies they watched, the places they went, and the “big one” talking about football. Tuesdays though, have become the main days that I get to work directly with the clients. During this time we make jam, peel pears or wrap the baked goods. I consistently work with one client, Meri, who reminds me to “take deep breaths, everything will be okay” this simple phrase helps me to be present in the moment and slow down my day.
What is your favorite thing about coming to work/what do you look forward to each day?
The things I look forward to most when coming to work are seeing the baked goods that have sold; it shows me what customers enjoy the most, especially when it comes to flavors.