Special Kneads: A new Georgia bakery - WSMV Channel 4

Special Kneads: A new Georgia bakery

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No one needs to get up this early.  But sometimes the need is special.

Sometimes it requires 90 hour work weeks, from a dedicated batch of sleep-deprived bakers.

But for owners Tempa and Mike Kohler opening this bakery was a shift that answered a prayer.

Square cupcakes. You'd have to come every day for weeks to try all of them.

Just six months after opening on Lawrenceville's Main Street they are in the black.

Mike Kohler, owner, "yeah we're paying the bills we've been very blessed."

But the financial success is not the shift they prayed for.

No, all of this is for Bradley,  he is Tempa and Mike's adult son with special needs. He works at the bakery, but not just Bradley.

Meet the day shift.

Mike Kohler, owner, "we thought you know there's so many more parents out there and so many more families that are facing the same thing"

Most of the employees at the Special Kneads Bakery, 9 of them, are special needs.

Adults whose families never thought they'd find a place in the working world.

Cathy Veal volunteers alongside her son Torrie.  "It's amazing because I thought he would never have a job and I thought I'd learned not to say never!"

There's cody who has autism.

Tempa Kohler, owner, "I love to see him blossom and understand what it is to work with other people because he's never understood what a friend is, that concept just never occurred to him."

The other concept that's new to them, a paycheck.

Honest to goodness, dough.

Mike Kohler, owner, "my son every day he gets a paycheck it's I got my first paycheck! He always says I just got my first paycheck!"

These are not jobs given in the name of charity.

Mike Kohler, "what they do is critical to our success to our daily function"

There's a bakery to run.  

Mike Kohler, "they do a lot of the jobs people don't think about and don't want to do. Sitting and stickering cupcakes for three hours. Most of our teens and even us would get a little bored with that. Our special needs people they need that repetition. They love that."

Tempa Kohler, owner, "I wish I could put the other 30 that are on the waiting list, I wish I had jobs for them"

In a business that relies on irresistible packaging, Special Kneads reminds us that what matters is beneath the surface.

Tempa Kohler, "I love the quote everyone kneads to be kneaded." 

A sense of purpose, a new view of life the sweetest part of this special place.

Tempa Kohler, owner, "It's really showing people that they have a place in this world."

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