March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and Quick Pickle Kit is sharing its business model to support individuals with special needs.
“We’re like a family,” said Janet, an employee at Quick Pickle Kit.
Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities have a place to learn and grow.
Andrea Wasko and Meaghan Gilbert founded Quick Pickle Kit in 1996.
“The Quick Pickle Kit utilizes recipes that have been in my family for 100 years and the recipes specifically were developed by my mother and I,” said Wasko.
But it is more than just selling a product.
“A different business model of providing jobs for adults with developmental disabilities, giving back to the community by donating to schools and non-profits and reducing food waste as well,” explained Wasko.
Anywhere from four to six employees are on the assembly line.
Quick Pickle Kit workers are coordinated by Achievement House, an organization that provides job training to more than 500 people with developmental disabilities across the Central Coast.
“The individuals are referred to us by the Tri Counties Regional Center here in San Luis Obispo and Atascadero, and they work whatever hours they are able to work whether it is full time or part time,” said Danielle Skipper, the director of client services at Achievement House. “We offer a variety of opportunities like our nursery, thrift stores, we have a post office that we run.”
Achievement House works with each individual and based on their needs they can offer anything from job interview training to how to submit a timecard.
“To achieve whatever their goals are, whether it is to live independently or get a job in the community,” added Skipper. “It is also a great way to socialize.”
During this Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, both Quick Pickle Kit and Achievement House hope the Central Coast community is more inclusive.
“It is really about emphasizing their abilities and not their disabilities and really helping them realize how confident they are and in all of the skills that they do have and what they can contribute to our society,” said Skipper.
Behind each Quick Pickle Kit is a huge smile.
“They are really a sweet population to work with and they really want to do the best that they can,” said Wasko.
Achievement House is always looking for community partners to help provide training.
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