Busy Bakers, helping those with disabilities learn skills for employment

Aiken County

AIKEN, SC (WJBF) – The Tri-Development Center of Aiken County is a non-profit organization assisting and supporting people with disabilities and special needs.

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Their bakery, called Busy Bakers, is a place where people with disabilities can learn skills to help them get employed.

“I supervise special needs individuals in the bakery and teach them basic kitchen skills in hopes of getting them a job in the community,” said Bakery Supervisor Samantha Kimmel.

“It’s just the environment. You get to cook all the time and I enjoy cooking, myself,” said Ryan Reed, a worker at Busy Bakers.

“I’m just learning about different stuff here in the bakery. I’m following in my grandmother’s footsteps,” said Nicole Boswell, a worker at Busy Bakers.

“I do a little bit of everything and I learn everything I can. I want to live up to my name: be a ‘Jack of All Trades,” said Jack, a worker at Busy Bakers.

The workers at Busy Bakers learn more than cooking skills. They are taught problem solving, customer service, and money management; skills they can take with them to their next job.

“When I first came here, I was not really all that good at money and I’m still learning. We get 50 dollars a week for spending money. They teach us how to spend our money wisely,” said Reed.

“I’m trying to save up for certain things that I want, so I can support my family. I’ve had a good rocky road, but God will support us, so that’s a good blessing in my life,” said Boswell.

From bakery baskets to breakfast, the Busy Bakers do it all. Their food can be ordered online by anyone in the community.

As much as they enjoy serving, it’s the sense of family and having a place to call their own that everyone enjoys the most.

“I enjoy seeing them succeed because it makes me happy and it makes me feel like I’m actually doing something successful and positive for them and it makes them happy, too,”said Kimmel.

“I thank them for it, because without it I personally couldn’t thrive and do what I need to do to feel comfortable,” said Jack.

“How does it make you feel to see someone enjoy your food?”

“Oh, it’s rewarding. I always put my love into everything, everything I do, even if I give someone something from my home, I say my love is in it,” said Jack.

Busy Bakers is full of talented workers ready to take the next step. Just don’t ask them any of their trade secrets.

“Tell me about this pound cake.”

“It’s got several ingredients. It’s a secret recipe,” said Boswell.

If you’re looking to find out more about Busy Bakers or Tri-Development Center & Aiken County board of Disabilities CLICK HERE.

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