Apart from the beautiful beaches and playground of the rich and famous, there exists in the Hamptons, a mission based business that highlights the abilities of adults with special needs.
Started by proprietor Shirley Ruch, a speech and language therapist, South Fork Bakery makes delicious cookies, while providing meaningful and supportive employment to South Fork residents with ADHD, auditory processing disorders, autism and developmental disabilities.
I first met these wonderful adults (and Shirley), selling their delicious treats at the Sag Harbor Farmer’s market, and was impressed not only by the taste of their labor, but their cause as well.
While Shirley worked for years as a speech, language, and learning specialist with children with developmental disabilities, she noticed as they grew older, there were not many jobs available for them. Realizing that baking was very therapeutic, Shirley decided to start her business and thus South Fork Bakery was born!
While the baking began at Hayground School, they are now working out of Scoville Hall in Amagansett. I had a the pleasure of seeing these young men and women (and career coaches) work side by side while they baked their delicious products.
All participants are immersed in every aspect of the business, including baking, packing, sales and marketing. I met many of these hard workers at the farmer’s market, where customers can purchase raisin/chocolate chip, chololate chunky brownie, and my personal favorite, the blondie bar.
To purchase these cookies, you can visit their website at http://www.southforkbakery.com.