At Nature’s Bin, a grocery store in Lakewood, Ohio, it’s not just the fresh produce and products that keep customers coming back. Many shoppers also love the store’s commitment to providing real work experiences for people with disabilities.
Nature’s Bin is operated by Cornucopia, Inc., a non-profit that helps people with disabilities “develop skills and confidence leading to sustainable employment.” Cornucopia was founded in 1975 by Brian Daw and Anne McEvoy. “The hope was to create a place where people with disabilities could learn job skills and work in the community; quite a novel idea in 1975,” says Nancy H. Peppler, executive director of Nature’s Bin.
Cornucopia’s original store, “The Bin,” offered training to 12 people with developmental disabilities every year. Today, Cornucopia helps upward of 200 individuals with special needs (physical or cognitive) learn work and social skills every year.
Individuals work side-by-side a full-time staff member across many departments in a “real-work, real-world learning environment,” says Peppler. They might learn how to stock shelves, run the register, clean the refrigerator cases or master another visible job.
Read the entire article in Whole Foods Magazine.