adult with autism working in Chicago bakery
Woman-owned Chicago bakery that employs adults with autism gets a sweet surprise

There are many who are doing amazing jobs and making a positive impact in their communities. “Good Morning America” chose to celebrate these small businesses and acknowledge their amazing contribution to society. In particular, one Bakery in Chicago has stood out for its unique mission of providing employment opportunities for Autistic individuals, not just as a source of income but also to help them develop essential life skills.

The Bakery is called “Unique Sweets,’ and it was founded by Liza Pereira. It has been operating for five years now and is dedicated to serving delicious treats while creating a safe space for Autistic adults.

Pereira’s vision goes beyond just a bakery; she wants to open up a community cafe where Autistic individuals can come and feel included. It’s not only about employment for her but about providing an environment where they can be themselves without judgment.

Pereira Cake Inspiration

The idea of creating this inclusive space came from personal experience. Pereira was inspired by her son Sebastian, who is an  Autistic adult, and his friends. She noticed the difficulty they faced in transitioning from high school to entering the workforce. The society often overlooks the talents and abilities of Autistic individuals, which can lead to exclusion & sometimes even discrimination in the workplace. This inspired her to create an opportunity for Autistic adults to not only have a job but also feel valued and appreciated.

Pereira’ says the first few months were quite challenging. The team had no prior experience in baking, so the first batches of cupcakes came out either burned or raw. But over time, they mastered the craft and now have more customers coming in. Baking has not only been a way to create delicious treats but also a means of developing different skill sets that are necessary for success and independence.

Members Opinion

In an interview with “GMA,” Jeremiah Nuñez, an accomplished baker at Unique Sweets, expressed his immense pride in the art of baking. He emphasized that individuals with autism possess exceptional baking skills and want to showcase their talents to the world through creating beautifully crafted cupcakes.

Another member of the Unique Sweets team, Cristina Torres, shared her perspective on being a part of this endeavor.

She expressed that, for her, the most rewarding aspect is not only gaining new skills but also contributing to the creation of a safe and inclusive space. With 300 members and an annual production of over 3,000 cupcakes, this business is making positive impacts in both the local community and the wider world, one delicious treat at a time.

What’s more amazing, the long-standing morning program, “Good Morning America,” gave both sisters a shoutout on their show and shared their inspiring story with millions of viewers across the country.

They have vowed with brand new professional baking equipment from Unifiller Systems and ELF400 compact, portable tabletop batter depositor, which enables precise batter deposits to accelerate production and reduce waste. Additionally, Pereira was gifted a generous $10,000 donation towards her dream of opening a permanent storefront in Chicago.

Autism Treatment in Chicago

As more ABA therapy centers in Chicago shift their focus on supporting adults on the spectrum, Nevada Autism is one of the leading organizations in providing comprehensive services to individuals with autism.

We have a team of highly trained professionals who are dedicated to treating children and adults with autism with ABA therapy, a scientifically proven method that focuses on developing functional skills and reducing problematic behaviors.