By Tatiana Peralta

Photo of steven and lady

When freshly baked cookies find their way to SourceAmerica's office, our inner Cookie Monsters come out. Last week our National Conference planning team enjoyed yummy-in-the-tummy treats from Whippourwill, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit bakery whose mission is to create meaningful employment people of all abilities in an inclusive work environment

Steven delivered mouth-watering chocolate chip and sugar cookies to our Vienna office. He bakes the gorgeous goodies from scratch and precisely packages them for customers. The ones that made their way to our tables were SourceAmerica-themed with red ribbons and a sweet card!

photo of cookies

Normally, cookies pair well with an icy cold glass of milk. But our special delivery was paired with something sweeter – a chance to get to know Steven a little bit. He shared with us that chocolate chip cookies are his favorite to bake and that the best part of his job is delivering the treats. (We totally relate to the delivery part. When you bring the cookies, you bring out the smiles!)



Steven's Story

Photo of steven

At age 7, Steven realized he had a passion for baking. Since then, he's been working to become a professional baker. In order to help him fulfill that dream his parents created a home school curriculum focused on baking to teach him math, science, life and social skills, geography, reading and writing. Steven is on the autism spectrum, and his passion, talent and success all inspired his family to think more strategically about the future for him and others with learning differences – leading to the creation of Whippourwill

Today, Steven uses the internet to find recipes and shops at the local market for ingredients. Ensuring that all the baked goods he makes (including the ones we devoured!) are made from the best quality ingredients. Steven's success led him to begin working in a “shared commercial kitchen” called Chefscape with the help of his job coach, Rebecca Sigety.

The move to a commercial kitchen has allowed Whippourwill and Steven to sell products in retail shops. His treats are now available at three local stores in the Vienna area! The most popular products include baking mixes for goodies like scones, cookie pies, and cornbread pancakes. Of course, Steven's cookie assortments are also top sellers.

Thank you so much to Whippourwill, Steven, his family, and Rebecca! Your story warmed our hearts and the cookies made our day.

*Third picture is courtesy of Rebecca Sigety Photography.