Paris bakery provides jobs for people with disabilities
PARIS, Tenn. — A West Tennessee family is working on a new bakery they hope will help provide jobs for people with special needs. Work is now underway on Sweet Jordan’s, located on Volunteer Drive in Paris.
Sweet Jordan’s Baked Goods & Ice Cream Shop has employed 19 people with disabilities so far to showcase their talents in a working environment.
“I’ve actually wanted to go to a cooking school, and this is the closest thing that I’ve gotten to that dream anyways,” bakery employee Michelle Burney said, laughing.
It’s a project the St. John family has been working toward since February after bakery co-owner Brad St. John suffered an illness which put him out of work for a year and a half. He spent his time at home with his son Jordan who has Down Syndrome. They bonded over baking sweets.
“When I felt like it, we would bake cookies and we would give those away,” St. John said. They would donate the cookies in the Paris community.
The cookies became a hit, which laid the foundation for a business idea that would give people like Jordan a place to have a job. His mother, Tommie, spread the word on social media.
“I put a story on Facebook and told people what we are doing, and I just immediately started getting phone calls,” St. John said.
“This will provide that sense of accomplishment that will give them a sense of purpose,” Brad St. John said. “It’ll add value to their life and just greatly improve their quality of life.”