FOX POINT, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS)-- A Wisconsin non-profit is in the process of expanding. The friendship circle helps those living with special needs gain work experience through its bakery.
With around 80 percent of adults with special needs in the Milwaukee still unemployed, friendship circle says now is the time to grow.
Milwaukee is home to a sweet space on the east side. The friendship bakery started two years ago as a place for kids and adults living with specials needs to come and gain job skills, but it soon turned into so much more.
"It gives me something to do," Friendship Bakery Baker, Lisa Turner said.
Lisa Turner has been a baker with the friendship bakery for only a few months now and she says she loves her job.
“I learn a lot of skills, I love it," Turner said.
However, the space she and her co-workers have is a bit tight. But, soon that won’t be the case anymore since they now have a new space they are beginning to renovate.
"Right now our kitchen is maybe 300 square feet. This new space just this area is around six and a half thousand square feet," Friendship Circle Executive Director, Levi Stein said.
The bakery is seeing an upgrade in size and an upgrade in the features in their new space.
"This is a one of a kind place that nothing like it exists in the state. It’s going to be a place where you walk in and smile," Stein said.
Stein says he is all smiles when talking about their new location in Fox Point. The bakery will be located in the former North Shore Bistro.
"So here is the bar and if you see throughout the entire wall there is plumbing and electrical so you can see here there are built in refrigerators so there is a lot of built in infrastructure already here," Stein said.
Next to their spacious long coffee bar, is a grand room where customers will be able to relax and enjoy drinks served from Colectivo Coffee.
Down the hall you will see what looks to be a blank canvas now, but it will soon be filled with beautiful artwork from volunteers and those who are directly impacted by this program.
Speaking of art, this place will be equipped with a full art room for those living with special needs so they can express themselves in a whole new way
"Everyone can work with art it doesn't matter what your skills and abilities are you can succeed in art," Stein said.
But if art isn’t your thing, you're going to want to check out the giant kitchen.
"Welcome to our grand friendship bakery kitchen, a place of the future," Stein said.
This spacious kitchen will allow for more bakers and volunteers to get hands on experience.
It also has a small work station for those who may be overstimulated from the heat and noise of this massive kitchen.
Meanwhile, there will also be a sensory room to top off the enormous space.
"We want to have a quiet room for them where they can come to and escape to, so if you come to here you'll see a small room but very important room which now is a mess but it will be cleaned up," Stein said.
Although it's a work in progress, Stein says he has hopes to have this friendship bakery up and running in the next three to four months.
For more information on how you can get involved or how to donate you can visit the link here.