With conscious consumerism on the rise, and especially during the season of giving, many holiday shoppers will look to buy from brands making a positive impact on the community. If this sounds like you, the perfect purchase may be Spectrum Bakes’ The Giving Bar, or any of its other sweet treats.
Based in Port Washington, Spectrum Bakes produces and sells granola bars and bites, as well as chocolate-covered snacks such as pretzels and Oreos. But this is not just any company – Spectrum Bakes is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit under the umbrella of Spectrum Enterprises, an organization that trains and employs people with autism and developmental disabilities. About 58% of the nonprofit company’s 71-person workforce is on the autism spectrum.
“It’s not just a few token employees with autism,” says Susan Gernhart, Spectrum Enterprise’s director of marketing and development. “This is what we do.”
Spectrum Enterprises encompasses not only Spectrum Bakes but also Spectrum Designs, a screen-printing business, and Spectrum Suds, a boutique laundromat. All enterprises partner with The Nicholas Center in Port Washington, which helps to train individuals in the various tasks needed in each business.
For Spectrum Bakes’ The Giving Bar, trainees learn to make, assemble, cut, and package granola bars, which come in four flavors: Chocolate Chunk, Sweet Cranberry, Pumpkin & Sunflower Seed, and Salted Chocolate Sunflower Butter.
“We tried to stay close to the mission when we came up with the name ‘The Giving Bar,’” says Deana Nissen, the enterprise director. “It’s a bar that gives back.
“You’re giving the gift of employment,” she adds. “All that money goes toward the expansion and advancement of hiring and retaining an inclusive workforce.”
While Spectrum Bakes does not have a brick-and-mortar store, it will soon expand to a larger location where customers can visit and pick up orders.
Spectrum Bakes sells gift boxes and customized packaging for its tasty products. To place an order, visit spectrumbakes.org or call 516-888-9632.