Two daughters, one big happy family

March 22nd, 2018

With a shock of multi-coloured hair and a brilliant smile, Pauli Deacon is upbeat while she works hard to complete her tasks at the gluten-free Two Daughters Bakeshop in North Vancouver. Pauli works four days a week doing dishes, prepping ingredients and shaping cookies, and is an integral part of the team that helps the bakery run smoothly. Since she started working there in June 2017, Pauli says she has increased her hours and her responsibilities, and learned to rely on the camaraderie and acceptance she gets from her boss and her co-workers.

“I love working here. I make sure the dishes are super clean and Lisa has supported me to learn to do new things.  I have gone from working 2 days to 4 days a week, and I am enjoying working more,” said Pauli. “I have had other jobs but this job is the best I have ever had.”

Two Daughters owner, Lisa Reichelt, made baking her profession in 2011. She made the decision to open up a gluten-free bakery in October 2012 after understanding first-hand how few bakeries have options available for people with gluten and dairy intolerances. Lisa worked Two Daughters on her own for the first year and a half but has since grown to employing nine full and part-time staff who provide baked goods for cafes and restaurants all across Vancouver. She hired Pauli after North Shore ConneXions Society approached her saying they had a young woman who had experience and interest in baking.

“North Shore ConneXions Society contacted me soon after I first opened, but I wasn’t quite ready to hire staff. However, I was open to the idea of hiring diversely,” says Lisa. “North Shore kept the conversation going with me and when Pauli was looking for work the timing was right – and she is a great fit for my business.”

Two Daughters operates out of a small storefront at the back of the building at 121 E 1st Street in North Vancouver. Given the constraints of the space, and the demand for their product, Lisa and her staff make a concerted effort to work collaboratively and supportively. Pauli says Lisa and her co-workers are accepting of when she needs support, while expecting her to pull her weight on the job. Lisa says her experience in hiring diversely has been positive, and she would encourage other businesses to be open to learning about the benefits, big and small, of hiring inclusively.

“I think it will be Pauli and me to the end,” laughs Lisa with Pauli nodding in agreement. “But seriously, I would encourage employers to get to know more about the positive benefits of hiring diversely. Everyone can be an asset to their workplace. Hiring diversely is not hard. It just requires an open mind and heart, and the willingness to give it a try.”

Learn More about the Benefits of Inclusive Hiring

Employment Matters – a documentary by CBC, explores the untapped market and potential of employing people with intellectual disabilities in the workplace.
Click here to watch the documentary

Myths about Hiring People with Disabilities – a factsheet to help employers better understand the myths about inclusive hiring.

Best Practices for Supported Employment – user-friendly information for employers, job seekers, service providers and family members.

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