Many of our customers order whole pies and jam over the holidays. This year, for Thanksgiving alone, we sold about 100 pies! It makes usRead more
Building connections is an important part of employment and can be uncomfortable for many of us. How do you make a connection? What do youRead more
Have you tried our Old Fashioned Raspberry or Raspberry Jalapeno jam? We purchase most of our raspberries from outside produce companies, but a small portionRead more
In recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we will be sharing stories about Steamers’ employees through the month of October. Preparation for employment beginsRead more
Elsa was born in Italy and moved to Denver with her family when she was 10 years old. And boy are we glad she did!Read more
My name is Maddy Hornecker and I have been working at Jack’s Bar and Grill and Steamers Coffeehouse for the past 4 years. During myRead more
A few weeks ago, we were all hard at work in our prep kitchen gearing up for fall. Fall is a busyRead more
My name is Cate Bailey. I am the Program Manager at the Steamers Pre-Vocational Prep Kitchen. I sat down with Jessica, one of my employees here at the prep kitchen to talk about her job here and what her future looks like. She told me about her time working at Steamers and how she recently found a new job at AMC. Jessica just obtained a supported community employment job with AMC Theatres at Flat Irons!
Jessica is a 23 year old woman, who has been working in the Steamers Pre-Vocational Prep Kitchen since it opened in April, 2014. Steamers Pre-Vocational Prep Kitchen is a program that is designed to teach individuals who have developmental disabilities job skills, and prepare them for supported employment. The goal of what we do in the prep kitchen is for people to gain a wide variety of job skills and then to eventually move on to community based employment and use those learned skills. When Jessica started working at Steamers she had never had a job cooking or working with food, she had just cooked at home with her mom. Jessica told me she has liked and enjoyed her job here at Steamers Prep Kitchen. She told me her favorite part about her job has been her job coaches. She told me she likes them so much because they are nice and they are always there to help out.
Jessica had a job coach who took her to apply for the job at AMC. She filled out the job application by herself and turned it into the hiring manager at AMC. A few days after turning in her application, AMC contacted Jessica and her mother about setting up an interview. Jessica’s job coach helped her prepare for the interview, and then took her to the interview. To prepare for the interview, Jessica’s job coach helped her choose an outfit and they practiced answering possible interview questions. Jessica’s job coach sat in on the interview with her, but Jessica answered all the questions and participated in the interview independently. Jessica told me they asked her questions like what her availability for scheduling might look like, if she thought AMC might be a fun place to work, if she enjoyed movies, and if she liked talking to people. After her interview, AMC offered Jessica a job on the spot! Jessica told me her new job will be working at the food counter as a prep cook. Jessica will receive the supports and job coaching she needs through her training at AMC and will eventually be working independently and with less job coach support.
I asked Jessica how she was feeling about starting a new job and she said, “I’m excited to work!” She said she is not nervous for it at all…just excited! Jessica told me she would be sad to leave Steamers though. She told me she has made friends here, but is looking forward to making more new friends at her new job.
Jessica is one of our first employees to be leaving our program armed with new skills to be successful in a community based employment job! It is pretty exciting to see one of our employees make such a great accomplishment! I, and the rest of the Steamers staff, will be sad to see her go…but we are all so proud of her success and are looking forward to hearing about her adventures in the future!Read more
My name is Sam and I am 1 of 2 bakers at Steamer’s. My situation is a bit unique in that I am totally blind and I am a baker. “WHAT?!” you say. “Is that even possible?” you ask. I am living proof that it is possible! I started working at Steamer’s in April 2014 as an intern baker and after 3 months, I was hired on as a permanent employee. With some adaptive equipment, I am able to bake with minimal assistance and I do my job just as well as a sighted person can. I love my job!
I started taking an interest in baking at an early age and have always had a fascination with the exact science of baking and the delicious creations that come from it. After losing my vision 10 years ago, I wasn’t sure how I could continue baking or even function as a blind person. However, with some training from wonderful instructors and support and encouragement from family and friends, I am able to live a full and normal life. There are so many things that I like about Steamer’s – the friendly and happy environment, helpful and upbeat co-workers, the different and spunky personalities, and that everyone is treated equally, whether someone has a disability or not.
Steamers and Jacks has just brought on a new intern baker. His name is Matt and he is also blind. It is my responsibility to teach Matt everything there is to know about baking so that he too can work with minimal assistance and still make the same quality of baked goods that the customers know and love. Yes, it is literally the blind leading the blind. There will be some challenges but I say: “Bring it on!” When I was sighted, I used to coach basketball and softball so I feel right at home teaching. Since visualization is out, we have to utilize our other senses, smell, taste and touch. For instance I can tell the difference between powdered sugar and flour using only my sense of touch. We use our sense of touch to tell if batter or dough is the right consistency. We use our sense of smell for lots of things like to tell the difference between spices and when something is finished baking. Matt is eager to learn and I am just as eager and honored to teach him.
I see myself as a role model to other blind people who have the mindset that, “Because I am blind I’m not able to work or live a normal life.” There is so much technology and adaptive equipment that allows blind people to work and live a productive and functional life. My ultimate dream is to own my own dessert shop! If I were to give a person with a disability advice, I would say: “Don’t let fear make a decision for you.” I was so fearful before I even started working at Steamers and Jack’s. I almost backed out of working at Steamers and Jack’s and if I had, I would have missed out on such a great opportunity to let my light shine and to be an inspiration to other blind people. I would encourage anyone with a disability to inquire about working at Steamer’s. Since working at Steamers I have made good friends and now have even more confidence to fulfill my ultimate dream.
One of the goals of our blog is to help give our readers and our customers a window into our little world. For this blogRead more