Sara Mae Hickey, owner of Puzzles Bakery & Cafe, has opened a dining establishment that truly stands out from the rest in the area. Puzzles is focused on what individuals can do, not what they cannot and has provided much needed employment opportunities to a typically under-employed population.
The mission of Puzzles Bakery & Cafe is to provide a truly equal opportunity for all individuals, including those who may have disabilities such as autism. As the sibling of a young woman with autism, Hickey realized that she could make a huge difference in her community by helping provide jobs to adults with disabilities.
In an interview with Autism Speaks, Sarah revealed that the idea came to her when she was working for the Clinton Foundation in Manhattan. The mission of the Foundation was to turn ideas into action and she was able to see a lot of projects make a huge difference around the world.
Inspired by the work she was watching, she thought she might want to join the Peace Corps or volunteer in developing nations, however, she realized a community she was so familiar with here in the United States needed help, as well.
Hickey’s business venture is committed to improving the lives of adult individuals with disabilities and the overall community affected by autism spectrum disorders. She wants it to be made clear that people with developmental disabilities are able and have the right to work in settings with non-disabled coworkers, earn the same wages and contribute to their community.
Hickey believes strongly that employment provides adults with disabilities opportunities for personal growth, social interaction, as well as a sense of purpose.
Join Puzzles Bakery & Cafe for their Grand Opening Celebration on Autism Awareness Day, April 2 from 7:00 am-9:00 pm! They are located at 515 State Street in Schenectady and are open daily.
What do you think of Hickey’s awesome business idea? Let us know!