If you’ve recently taken a trip down to Waypoint Park, you may have noticed a new addition: a bakery and cafe called Our Kitchen. Not just your typical bakery, Our Kitchen aims to provide job opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD).
Our Kitchen began online in 2020 in partnership with the D.I.S.H. Foundation, as Founder Suzanne Taylor saw a critical need within the community.
“I have a son who was born with an IDD and there aren’t a lot of options for him. I’m not the only family in this situation so we decided to change that,” Taylor says.
After looking into job opportunities for individuals with IDD, Taylor noticed the problem was two-fold: no opportunities for a job and a lack of training for jobs. Armed with this knowledge, Our Kitchen aims to give those opportunities while D.I.S.H. provides the training.
“It is important to understand that individuals with IDD are quite capable; sometimes all they need is a little patience and creative learning/training,” Taylor says.
The bakery opened in May 2022 and offers multiple positions for those with IDD, including barista, cashier, baker, food prep, and packaging. Customers can expect homemade items like soft pretzels, cookies, and gluten-free goodies, as well as rotating seasonal items.
“I know our project will have a real impact because of how amazing our community is. Our community supports local, wants to do good, and wants to contribute to a thriving community,” Taylor says. “By creating inclusion and giving opportunities to individuals with IDD so they too can be active, contributing members of society, we can only create an even better community to live in.” ourkitchenbellingham.com