No Label at the Table Bakery is a bakery run by a 20-year-old young man named Jacob Wittman, and his mother, Shelly Henley. Jacob Wittman has autism, and the bakery specifically aims to employ other people on the autism spectrum.
Jacob Wittman is simultaneously working to graduate high school through an online school and running the business. His dream, he told his mother when he was 18, was to become a chef, so they worked together to make it a possibility for him and for other people with autism who have similar goals and passions.
This work is not only creating an enjoyable and purposeful opportunity, it is also combatting the statistic that two-thirds of people with autism are unemployed after finishing high school. Companies like No Label on the Table Bakery, and others that are particularly run by and inclusive to people with disabilities and will be featured in later spotlights, are working to combat this statistic by providing employment opportunities and a positive and inclusive work environment.
Jacob’s mother, Shelly Henley, talks about the ways that this environment has helped Jacob mature: “Jacob, like many on the spectrum, has rigid and ritualistic behavior. Every morning for the past eight years, he has had the same routine to get ready in the morning. There’s a script we follow. If the steps are interrupted, he has to start over again. But last Friday, the day Jacob works in the kitchen, he proceeded to get dressed without the script. My husband and I never thought we’d live without the script. But the rigid and ritualistic behavior just disappeared. Jacob hasn’t needed the script since.” This statement by Shelly Henley demonstrates the benefits that for people with autism that working toward something that makes them feel happy and fulfilled can provide.
The bakery, as well, does not only make delicious treats but additionally uses its social media as a platform to educate others about autism spectrum disorder. It offers a description of Autism, for those who are not educated on what exactly it means, and notes that “there is not one autism but many types,” hence the descriptor of a “spectrum” being used to categorize.
The bakery, as well, has expanded its reach past its geographic proximity–they do both in-store pickup and also take and fulfill orders online. Be sure to check it out and support a great autism positive and inclusive business at https://nolabelatthetable.com/order2/