After mentally retarded, came ‘intellectual disability’ and now in our enlightened evolution: developmentally disabled.
The systemic thinking reflective of our perception of someone who is non-typical doesn’t even begin with a notion of what is possible. Think about that. Our schools, institutions, habituations and our mindsets start with “it’s not possible.”
We begin with the mental stagnation of limitation when thinking of the non-typical.
All human beings, by their very nature, are limited in this 3 dimensional realm.
How would life feel if 100% of your day was focused on all the things others thought you could not do?
How many times have you woken up in the morning and had immediate worries about what you had to do that day? Or even thought, “today is going stink” and then fostered a grumpy, downer, complaining attitude the entire day?
If that isn’t a disability I don’t know what is. Aren’t we all disabled in some ways?
At the heart of our movement is the term differently-abled.
Our approach is one of using results-based methodology: Floor-time, ABA, TEACH to name a few, in a highly individualized curriculum. We do not have an allegiance to any one method, but rather to the combination of methods that are what each individual needs.
Because that’s the reality of HUMAN BEINGS. They are all different!
Hence the name of our non-profit: Ability 2 Work. Everyone has abilities. If we are willing to own responsibility for authentically supporting a differently-abled person to find their ability it means challenging the status quo—starting with the name developmentally disabled.
From the time we opened Baker’s Treat’s doors I noticed a disconnect with what we provide in the café’ and what supporters think we provide.
Each time a supporter discovered we did any one of the following:
Scratch made everything: soups, quiches, frittatas,
Organic house cured, rubbed, roasted, and smoked meats: Bacon, Turkey, Ham, Roast Beef, and Pastrami
Gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian options
Organic eggs/creams/butters (we make our own ice cream!)
Fair-trade organic coffee
The supporters would say: I thought all you did was fantastic cakes!”
Of course we do every creative succulent cake, pie, or desert as well…but just like Ability 2 Work in comparison to other ‘programs’ we do so, so, so much more.
Ironically, over the course of time, our customers kept suggesting that we change our name. What we did—our mission and the gourmet results were simply missing from the name Baker’s Treat.
I’ll admit I resisted it.
And then I realized: we are about removing limitations for the differently-abled, not hanging onto them.
If the name limited them from having opportunity, there was nothing left to do but start to ask customers and supporters what they thought our name should be.
We took months to mull over all the suggestions and we kept coming back to a singular sentiment: gratitude.
Gratitude for being able to put passion into action.
Gratitude for the support of kind, loving folks who actively seek out our differently-abled apprentices to cheer them on and support them.
Gratitude for our differently-abled and their courage to grow beyond what anyone thought was possible for them.
Gratitude for our community demonstrating there is a better way—if you are willing to make one.
Gratitude for our ability to overcome and push past limitations.
It is with much joy and gratitude we are announcing our new name:
Grateful Bites, Café, Bakery, Restaurant
You’ll notice logo changes on the menus and our web site and we hope you’ll also notice our fabulous farm-to-table and house meats on the expanded menu; be it with our breakfast, lunch or burger menus.
Baker’s Treat is a name we have outgrown, but it’s where a big piece of our gratitude lies—in our hearts.
We hope you embrace Grateful Bites just as you have Baker’s Treat as we continue to grow and grow.
Ability 2 Work CEO