O'Leary's Maple House off to a booming start

A new cafe in O'Leary run by a non-profit organization working with adults with intellectual disabilities has been getting a lot of community support, and business. It's called Maple House Bakery and Cafe, and is run by Community Inclusions, an organization that provides support and work training for its clients.

Bakery and cafe, workplace for adults with intellectual disabilities

Customers line up at the Maple House Bakery and Cafe in O'Leary. (CBC)

A new cafe in O'Leary run by a non-profit organization that works with adults who have intellectual disabilities has been getting a lot of community support, and business.

It's called Maple House Bakery and Cafe, and is run by Community Inclusions, an organization that provides support and work training for its clients.

"They have different jobs that they do, filling pop coolers, cleaning tables, to greeting customers," said Laurie Ann Waite, a manager with the cafe. "All in all, it's a very positive change for everybody."

The new cafe has received lots of community support since opening last week. (CBC)
The bakery has been around for years, but grew out of its tiny building.

After renovating the old O'Leary liquor store, the group moved in about six weeks ago.

The cafe is the new addition, opening last week, and has been busy serving breakfast and lunch everyday.

"We got on social media and people started coming, it just increased, the numbers have increased by the day," said Waite.

"They were parked down the road, and up the road and there was a line up in the building and it really blew us away. People coming in to eat breakfast and dinner are actually leaving with baked products."

The clients are already proud of the success.

"My parents are going to be so proud of me, I'm doing a good job," said Rebecca Carragher.

All those customers do mean more work for everyone, however.

"You think you're done of dishes and then more comes back," said client C.J. Sneider-Couchman.

A dozen clients of Community Inclusions work at the cafe, along with staff from the organization. (CBC)
Another client, Laura Sarlo, just started her training, and hopes to be waiting tables soon.

"I guess I'm pretty excited, 'cause it's, you know, finally I get kind of a job to do and I can help out, and I think it will be fun," she said.

Funding for the new building came from the federal government, the province, and the organization.

Maple House works with a dozen clients with intellectual challenges from West Prince, and it hopes to soon add a supper menu to the cafe as well.

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