A café whose mission is just as good as their menu

A café whose food is just as great as their overall mission
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 9:56 AM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - Wanting to serve more than just good food, the café on the second story that oversees the gardens market has a goal to introduce those with intellectual disabilities into the workforce.

“I think it’s amazing. The restaurant is the best,” said John Paul, one of the hosts.

Think Ability executive Director, Robin Arter, said the environment the organization has created allows employees to have more day-to-day interaction.

“There’s so many jobs that they can do, and learn in- in the hospitality career, to go out and be more employable in the community,” said Arter.

What started as a dream soon became a reality. Arter said the community support has blown them away, especially with them only being in their first month of business.

“I ate here last Tuesday and it was absolutely delicious,” said Camilla Childs, a customer.

“When people learn what we do and what’s behind the sandwich, they come back,” added Arter.

The cafe’s manager said sometimes people underestimate those who live with disabilities.

“Some of my employees are the hardest working people that I’ve ever worked with and people don’t see that. They go above and beyond their job to do their job, and it’s really cool to see it happen,” said Chris Cody, the restaurants manager.

As a result, Think Ability Garden Café is leaving a lasting impression on their customers.

“They have been a blessing to the community and to many people in the community,” said Childs.

“When our guests are here, they become part of our team,” added Cody.

And while the restaurant continues to provide what some said is the best service in town, Arter added no matter a person’s disability, their role in the community, and as people, holds the same importance.

“Every community has citizens with intellectual developmental disabilities, and it supports not only that person with disability, but the family that they come from. And they become not only more employable, but more self-sufficient,” said Arter.