H appy Apple Pie Shop is a dream inspired by necessity. As parents of a daughter who has an intellectual disability, we are painfully aware that there are far too few jobs available for people like her who want to work. In fact, only about 15% of people with disabilities have employment. Years ago, the sheltered workshop model was developed to provide work space for people with disabilities. While that was a vast improvement over staying home, the work is set apart from the rest of the community. We believe that there is another way. That way is a blended work environment, where people with and without developmental and intellectual disabilities work together.
Why pie? Pie has two elements – crust and filling. The best crust is flaky magic. It must taste as good as it looks. It is created by carefully measuring ingredients, blending them in a consistent way and rolling it to perfection! This takes the talents of people who enjoy precision and measurement. The filling, on the other hand, often requires imagination and daring. A pie filling, either sweet or savory, is created by taste and flexibility – it that apple sweet or tart? The entire pie is a masterpiece of precision and art. Our pies are made from the finest ingredients. We use locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Our fruit comes from Ellis Family Farms in Benton Harbor, Michigan. You can visit them at the Oak Park Farmers’ Market.
As a pie is a blend of two things, our work environment is a blended work environment. There is a role for everyone who wants to work here. This takes creativity and flexibility on the part of management. Everyone’s individual skills are considered when jobs are assigned. Some job descriptions will vary to capture the abilities of the person doing that job.
People ask why “Happy Apple” ? We believe that our business environment will inspire our employees and customers to find a spot of happiness in their daily life.