Updated: Jul 25, 2019
Something new is happening in Old Town Temecula! It’s a new bakery and their pastries aren't the only thing that is sweet! Oak Grove Culinary Creations opened its doors just a few months ago and with it they teamed up with Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) to hire three Integrated Work (IW) clients. David, Jon and Spencer are a part of a vocational training program with TMI for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). These gentleman work a weekly schedule to learn and build their job experience, with their sights set on using those skills to earn paid employment. The Oak Grove Center, the management group behind Culinary Creations, has a similar mission of supporting at-risk and special needs youth in learning culinary, vocational and hospitality skills.
Oak Grove CEO Tammy Wilson stated, “We are proud and honored to partner with TMI. Our goal was to provide job opportunities and training for Oak Grove, as well as other young adults with special needs in the community. The hard work these young men do is enriching for them, as well as Culinary Creations!”
This bakery really has been the perfect opportunity for both Oak Grove and TMI to follow through with their missions in assisting those they serve, making it a sweet deal for all!
David, Jon and Spencer were hired as Baker’s Assistants. They perform a variety of tasks with the assistance of their TMI Job Coach Shana Jamchi. This enables them to learn and experience many aspects of what working in a bakery entails. Each of their shifts can lead to something new for the trio. Right from the start the job challenged the group. Being in a food environment, it required them to study for and pass the Riverside County Food Handler Certification course, which they did successfully. Their bakery duties include washing dishes, interacting with customers while clearing tables, food preparation, sweeping and taking out trash, as well as some advertising ventures (Saturdays they visit the streets surrounding the bakery, which includes the weekly Farmer's Market traffic, to pass out flyers and sign spin to let people know about the bakery). The tasks have opened their eyes to opportunities. They now have their sights set on front-end training, to take orders and operate the register.
"The TMI team has added so much ‘sweetness’ to our shop and our culinary team,” said Culinary Creations Manager Jean Bacher. “They always come in with a great big smile, can-do-attitude and a positive vibe that illuminates the room and everyone they meet! As a result, we have had many customers come to the shop for the first time because of their positive interactions with our TMI team during their community outreach activities. We are truly excited and honored to have them be a part of our Oak Grove Culinary Creations family!"
This has been such a great experience for these young men, each being thankful for the challenge and the chance. So if you find yourself near Old Town Temecula (41923 Second Street, Suite 104), stop into Oak Grove Culinary Creations, reward yourself with something delicious, and say "Hi" to these awesome guys from TMI. David, Jon, and Spencer will be hard at work, greet you with a smile, and doing their best with this amazing opportunity, who knows they may even take your order and make your day sweeter!
The TMI IW program is designed to meet the employment and community integration needs of individuals with IDD who are over the age of 18 and are Regional Center clients. Although paid work is the desired outcome for all of our clients, many are working as volunteers at a wide variety of nonprofit organizations throughout San Diego, Riverside and Imperial counties. In addition, clients have the opportunity to access resources in the community such as libraries, fitness centers, restaurants, etc. Our clients actively assist in the development of their community schedules. Their participation in making decisions about their day reflects their unique skills, support needs and individual preferences.
Thank you to Culinary Creations for partnering with us to help transform the lives of our clients! If you know of a local business who could benefit from TMI volunteers or employees, please contact TMI at (800) 877-5452 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) has been transforming the lives of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1981 and the deaf and hard of hearing since 2000. TMI strives to help our clients to realize their hopes and dreams by providing Employment Solutions, Community Living and Family Support Services throughout San Diego, Riverside and Imperial Counties. To stay connected with us follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Together we can share acceptance and awareness, ultimately contributing to further inclusion.