Wrapped By Grace

Wrapped By Grace

(Pictured: Grace Kirpan, the longest standing employee at Nutty Steph's, showing a Bernie Bar wrapped by her to Peter Welch, Vermont representative to the United States Congress.)

What's the secret sauce at Nutty Steph's? It's our coworkers with disabilities. Many business owners ask: how can I afford the time and resources to employ people with disabilities when I have so much to deal with already? My answer is: you can't afford not to. Two women with Down's Syndrome wrap our chocolate bars, a passionate chocolatier with Autism makes our Magic Chunks, and the three of them are a cornerstone of our company strength and stability. Schedule changes? Never. Personal or social drama? Never. Distractions from the task at hand? Never. Grace, Carigen and Justin come to work on time, every time, and do exactly what they came to do, and do it a little bit faster and better with the passage of time.

Sounds too good to be true, I know but it's not. The reason for this profound efficiency from workers that are commonly believed to be incompetent members of society is tucked into the phrase "developmentally challenged." Most folks that are born with disabilities take longer to develop than others. The learning process is slow, but then following the development of a given skill, these workers carry it out like clockwork.

Best of all, getting out into the community means the world to Grace, Carigen and Justin, so going to work is the highlight of their week. Imagine the workplace as your favorite place to be, and you can imagine the tremendous teachers that we are blessed with every week at Nutty Steph's.

Jaquelyn Rieke