A warm bread and a warm heart can be found at one Illinois family bakery.
In 2018 Margaret Cortes became unemployed and worried about being able to afford her child’s education. She decided to open a bakery to ensure a brighter future for her son.
The bakery also helped to serve another purpose more directly for her 16-year-old boy – a job. Frankie, Margaret’s son has cerebral palsy.
The bakery cleverly named Special Kneads Bakery now employs Frankie.
“He’s got a lot of diagnosis against him,” Cortes said in an interview with KWQC-TV.
“He’s got cerebral palsy, he’s got Dandy-Walker variant, which is a malformation of the brain, he’s got vision issues so he’s blind in one eye.”
Doctors told Margaret when he was born that Frankie may never be able to walk. Frankie, now in high school not only learned to walk but works in the front of the bakery and greets their customers with a smile.
Margaret was happy to provide a full time workplace for her son as he leaves high school but also an opportunity for him to interact with people and work on his social skills.
Cortes first got the idea to open a bakery after a local bakery had shut down in their community.
“Bingo that is it!” she wrote. “Let’s open a bakery to provide for my family and for there to be a place for Frankie when he enters the workplace.”
“He can sing, he can dance, he can run, he can jump. He can do so many things,” she said.
“It was important for me that he didn’t end up just working in a factory or working where he wasn’t getting that exposure to other people.”
Frankie really enjoys working there as well.
“I just try and treat everyone with respect and make them smile,” he told KWQC-TV. “I like serving the community because it makes my heart feel good.”
The Special Kneads Bakery hopes to hire others facing disabilities in the future.