PLAINFIELD — A new bakery is going far beyond a cup of coffee, pastries and cakes.
"Everyone is welcome at our table" is the motto at Mama Bird Bakery. They're hoping to make a difference one treat at a time and it starts with their employees.
"I am kinda excited to do this," Olivia Slavens said.
Behind the counter or in the kitchen at Mama Bird Bakery, you'll find Olivia Slavens with a smile.
From the homemade cookies, pastries, brownies and lattes, Olivia is most excited about baking.
She's over the moon about having the chance to thrive in her workplace.
"To spend time with people and stuff," she said.
Olivia has special needs. She says finding a hands-on job hasn't been easy.
"Finding a different job.. is just... a little different than what I am doing right now which is basically just cleaning." she said.
Owen Carr and Jared Baker are also excited to join the team. They along with the other employees also greet customers with joy.
Owners Katie Jacoboski and Jess Klatte wanted to provide a place where "everyone" feels welcome.
All applications are accepted and the work area is wheelchair accessible.
"If that means we have less tables that's ok, but I want somebody — if anyone wanted to work here in a wheelchair — they can come in and wheel themselves around so they can do it on their own. Every aspect of our bakery is trying to be inclusive to anyone who wants to work here," Klatte said. "I had so many parents call me in tears. One of the young gentlemen that works here said I just never thought this was possible, that no one would ever take a chance."
Jacoboski has two daughters with disabilities and Klatte is a former social worker.
The idea of Mama Bird Bakery sparked from one of Klatte's clients who was told she couldn't work at a local coffee shop.
"She was told she was too slow. The light bulb just went off and I thought you know what, I need to help change this for my community — to offer fair employment where they feel good about what they are doing every day, where they aren't just washing dishes and cleaning. They are loved like any other employee," said Klatte.
While the bakery doesn't pass judgement, there is only one rule to work there.
"We've joked with everyone we interviewed you don't have to know how to bake or make coffee but you do need to be kind and then you're welcome here," said Klatte.
Mama Bird Bakery is located on East Main Street in Plainfield at the Barlow. Gluten free and vegan options are available.
It's open Tuesday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.