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.

Brad St. John, left, and his son Jordan

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.

Now with a staff of 19, Jordan will take the lead as manager of the bakery. The family said through this whole process they’ve put God before anything else in their work.

“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.”

The bakery is still accepting applications. If you’d like to learn more, visit their website at or check out their Facebook page.

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