Sunflower Bakery started as a casual conversation between Laurie Wexler and Sara Portman Milner. Sparked by a sweet tooth and a passion for ensuring that people of all abilities have access to meaningful employment, Sara and Laurie envisioned the art of pastry and baking as a pathway to opportunities for people with learning differences.
Since 2010 Sunflower Bakery has been training adults 18+ with learning differences due to diagnosed disabilities, as well as adults with learning differences that are undiagnosed due to socioeconomic impacts or inadequate and/or inconsistent educational supports.
Sunflower is focused on skilled training and connecting our students and graduates with employment opportunities. Sunflower is the only program in Maryland that trains young adults with learning differences for job success in pastry arts, baking and related food industries. We are so proud to have served more than 210 students, staff and teens at Sunflower Bakery and Cafe Sunflower.
According to the Maryland Disability Status Report, 2014 American Community Survey, the employment rate for working-age people with cognitive disabilities is 28.8%, compared to 80.8% of working-age people without disabilities.