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Richmond bakery will train, employ high schoolers with developmental disabilities

Posted at 12:19 PM, Sep 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-25 18:32:34-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A new bakery opening in Richmond will serve as a training and employment site for young adults with developmental disabilities

Established by a partnership between the Next Move Program and the Westover Hills Methodist Church,  Tablespoons Bakery will open in the fall of 2020 and enable high school students to work while learning independent living skills.

Founded in 2015, the Next Move Program is a non-profit organization that partners with businesses to create "guided internship experiences" for young adults with disabilities in the local Richmond community.

Tablespoons Bakery will be an expansion of Next Move's traditional internship programming. Through partnerships will various public schools throughout the Greater Richmond Area, students will participate in vocational training and education while also selling to the community through the bakery's retail space.

“We tell anyone who will listen about our program and our dreams of having our own bakery. A place to belong, grow, get, and give back. You cannot buy acceptance, friendship, love or community, but a cookie can open the door and the crumbs can lead the way," Tablespoons Student Cheyenne Jones said.

Approximately 50 young adults will participate annually, preparing them for employment in the community. The retail space will also host community events and workshops, providing educational resources for families and diverse abilities training sessions to the broader community.