FULSHEAR, Texas -- The Texana Café is on a mission to serve exceptional food made by exceptional people. At this café, the workers, or "interns" as they're called are all neurodiverse individuals. Many have autism.
"A lot of them come in with very little confidence, with fear, with anxiety, because they've never held a job before," said Rany Thommen, manager of the Texana Café. "Texana Café showcases and highlights the unique abilities of people with autism and intellectual disabilities."
According to the Autism Society of America, 66% of adults with autism are unemployed. That's why the Texana Café, located in Fulshear, Texas, wants to offer a supportive employment environment. Interns will work with a licensed behavior specialist to learn important skills needed in the workforce. Once they graduate from the internship, the goal is for them to secure permanent employment.
"To see not only their confidence build, but also the quality of their relationships build with their co-workers who then become their friends, it's just beautiful to watch," said Thommen.
The Texana Café serves baked goods, sandwiches, tacos, salads, coffee and a lot more. But the secret ingredient this café uses in all of its recipes is pretty easy to see.
"What makes our coffee good is love," said Aaron, a café intern. "I love it here."
Learn more about the Café Texana at www.texanacafe.com.