Al's Cookie Mixx bakes up opportunities for young adults with disabilities

ByLeah Hope and Poinesha Barnes WLS logo
Monday, February 26, 2024
Family business bakes opportunities for young adults with disabilities
Al's Cookie Mixx, a family-owned business based in Chicago's Beverly neighborhood, is baking up opportunities for young adults with disabilities.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- One Beverly family took their love for sweet treats and using it to bake up opportunities for young adults with disabilities.

There's a dozen scoops of joy in each book of Al's Cookie Mixx, and each order goes toward a great cause. The company employs adults living with disabilities who have aged out of the system.

"Our youngest, Ayden, has autism," said owner and chief cookie officer Alvin Green.

He said he wants his son and his son's friends to have something to look forward to as they grow older.

"There's a saying in the disability community: what happens when the bus stops coming?" he said.

MORE COVERAGE: Chicago area restaurant employs adults with disabilities

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism is diagnosed more frequently in Black and Hispanic children compared to white children. Studies show up to 85% of adults with autism are unemployed.

"Kids of color, kids in urban areas never have enough programs," Green said.

So, he stepped in to change that one batch of dough at a time, with the help of his nephew.

"We've broken down the process into many different steps that are easy. We don't do a lot of automation with bagging and labeling. We just try to make sure that every task that can't be done by somebody is done by somebody," said Operations Manager Brandon Barbie.

And these young adults do it all.

"I like his cookies, I like to make cookies and stuff," said employee Jasmine Glover.

"I think that it's a great opportunity not for the kids to get work but for people to see just how eager and great employees these adults can be," said Barbie.

Each purchase helps the same, family owned business employ more young adults living with disabilities.

"Our tag line is your enjoyment provides employment," Green said.

If you're interested in ordering for Al's Cookie Mixx, you can purchase from their online store. You can even make a custom mix!

Click here to visit Al's Cookie Mixx online store.