To Everything There Is a Season

Autumn Leaves

Edel T. Copeland

Published: November 1, 2016

Golden, crisp leaves falling softly from almost bare trees,

Lifting and falling in a hushed gentle breeze,

Slowly dropping to the soft cushioned ground,

Whispering and rustling a soothing sound.

 

Coppers, golds, and rusted tones,

Mother Nature’s way of letting go.

They fall and gather one by one,

Autumn is here, summer has gone.

 

Crunching as I walk through their warm fiery glow,

Nature’s carpet rich and pure that again shall grow,

To protect and shield its majestic tree,

Standing tall and strong for the world to see.

 

They rise and fall in the cool, crisp air.

It’s a time of change in this world we share,

Nature’s importance reflecting our own lives,

Letting go of our fears and again, too, we shall thrive.

 

 

I’m sure you’ve noticed pumpkin spice popping up everywhere, even on our market tables! Fall is coming. Winter is approaching. Our market season is coming to an end. Two more weeks for the summer markets. Squirrels and chipmunks are scurrying around making their winter stores, much like I am scurrying around preparing for my guys winter plan.

I really identify with the last stanza of this poem. Whether it’s Nature or God, the universe is telling us it is time to reflect and change so we can thrive. If I look back at the past summer, it is unbelievable what my guys have accomplished! By mid-July, they had hit every target I had for them for the next 18-24 months. They are media darlings. They had both local and national press. Their products are at not one market but three! Their products are making sure everyone is included at weddings, birthdays and baby showers.  They’ve become an incredible team. They make movie dates together. They see each other for bowling. My son has friends.

Going forward, we will be returning to the Carmel Winter Market, Oct 21 through February 24th, Saturdays 9 am to noon at 510 3rd Avenue SW. We will be available on www.Marketwagon.com  at  both Indianapolis and Laporte sites, where you are able to get weekly deliveries of our goods. We will not be returning to Fishers Winter Market. I know we have weekly customers. Just come see me at the Carmel Market. I never got a chance to meet any of you! I owe you all a hug for supporting us! There’s an incredible line up of vendors at the Carmel Winter Market.

Every second, I’m not in the kitchen or trying to hustle up more press, I am working on getting my team their own kitchen. I am getting closer daily. You all will be the first to know!!! Someone once asked J man how he was going to become a chef, his response was, “ do cooking.”  If it was just cooking, it would be so easy and fun! That’s where I want to be in the kitchen goofing off with my guys. I want you, the customers, to experience the fun and enthusiasm they have.  If they had their own kitchen, they can take wholesale, co packing, and mail order/online sales(out of state) orders! All of that would mean more hours for my current guys and more job openings.

A kitchen would mean we would be more able to provide people with autism an opportunity to build a career, achieve an independent lifestyle and create social change. Hopefully, No Label this summer has created change or shift in people’s mind set. My dream was that we would inspire the community to change their perception of the capabilities of people with autism. My employees work is of the same value of their non-disabled peers.

As I reflect on the summer, I feel so appreciative for the community that has embraced us. You follow my guys progress on Facebook and Instagram. I get emotional thinking about the customers who know the chefs by name! I still am astonished and very grateful when brides take a chance on my guys!

I look forward to our next steps. I feel blessed to be taking them with the community and my guys. I’ve got future actuaries, engineers, and Bobby Flays! I’ve told one of my guys he must thank me in his Oscar and Grammy acceptance speech and to hype our snickerdoodles before they start playing the music on him! The future going to big for us, just watch and see, we shall thrive!

PRESS RELEASE

Contact

Shelly Henley

Telephone

317-607- 6233

Cell

317-607-7599

Email

jakensamsmom@yahoo.com

Website

www.nolabelatthetable.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 1, 2017

No Label At the table launching to provide job opportunities and job skills traing for people with autism

No Label at the Table is a gluten & dairy free food company staffed by people on the autistic spectrum

Carmel, IN , May 1, 2017–

No Label at the Table is pleased to announce they are taking their products to www.carmelfarmersmarkert.com and www.fishers.in.us/farmersmarket   beginning May 6th through September 30, 2017. Gluten and dairy free cookies, cupcakes, pizza crust and breads will be available.

No Label at the Table was founded by a set of parents when their autistic son was transitioning to adulthood and wanted to become a chef. The parents set out to make it a reality and provide training and employment opportunities for other adults on the spectrum. You can read more about the story and follow the company’s development at www.nolabelatthetable.com .

Two thirds of people with autism after HS graduation are unemployed. The statistics get worse the older a person on the spectrum is. No Label at the Table’s goal is to open a bakery/ quick service restaurant with a certified gluten free kitchen that can be proof to the community the value of employing people on the spectrum.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Shelly Henley at 317-607- 6233 or email at jakensamsmom@yahoo.com.

But it looked so easy on You Tube

The other day I came across a story of an abused mom of 4, who built her home by watching you tube videos! If she could make a home with walls, plumbing and electrical than J and I could learn to frost a cupcake. After watching a half dozen or so you tube videos, J and I drove off and picked up some pastry bags and frosting tips envisioning the wedding cakes we’d be able to pull off now that we were experts on cake decorating.

Things in highly produced 4 minute 36 second videos on you tube look much easier than they are in real life. Our first challenge was the frosting itself. We are not frosting people. You know which plates are ours after a birthday party. We scrape the frosting off and eat the cake! That’s the good stuff. I’ve heard buttercream frosting is so easy over and over! But right there in the name is our first problem, BUTTER.  No Dairy for us. After a half dozen attempts of concoctions of coconut oil, corn syrup, shortening and powdered coconut milk, we got something that would hold together. The process of coming up with the frosting had left us a little worse for the wear. All that sugar while we were tasting and testing had made us a nauseous and gave us a head ache.

Before we even began, we were crashing fast! After all that frosting, we had to sit down for a while.  We watched some more videos during our break and got reinvigorated. How could we not be awesome at this!?! So up we got and faced our second challenge. How do you get the frosting in the bag without make a huge mess? Frosting is some icky sticky stuff. It was all over our hands, the front of us and I may have had some in my hair. The ladies in the you tube videos all had perfect hair and manicured hands with upbeat pop music playing. I was starting to hear the requiem in my head.

Once we got the frosting in the bag, I thought we were ready. Magazine cover worthy cupcakes were on the way. Boy humor and air were our next obstacle. In between the glob of frosting and the tip was a large pocket of air. When we tried to push the frosting out, out came a bodily function noise. I lost J! He collapsed in giggles. Me, being a boy mum for so long, also collapse into the giggles!

We preserved and produced a few cupcakes.

 

 

They look nothing like anything in the videos.

 

We got better by the eighteenth. 

 

What took 4 minutes and 36 in most of the videos, took us about 4 and half hours.  I probably gained 4 and a half pounds.

I don’t see wedding cakes in the immediate future, but we will get there. That mom could not have built her home in days. It had to be months or even years. With practice, hard work and giggle collapses we will have magazine cover worthy cakes. Martha Stewart look out. How could that not be in our future? It looks so easy on YouTube.

Confirmed Items on the Gluten and Dairy Free Menu

We’ve been hard at work tasting and testing our recipes

Here’s a list of confirmed Items for the markets thus far

GF/ DF White Sandwich Bread

GF/DF Pumpernickel Rolls

GF/DF Irish Brown Bread

GF/DF Brownies

GF/DF Chocolate Cupcakes

GF/DF Corn Bread

GF/DF Snicker doodles

GF/DF Chocolate buzz cookies

&

GF/DF Chocolate Chip cookies

More testing and tasting is happening this week

We’ll have more to come

Please let us know if there are any special requests!

 

 

Hope And Hustle

Our company began when my son was turning eighteen and transitioning to adulthood. He said he wanted to be a chef in restaurant. Initially, I giggled and told him, “No you like to eat at restaurants.” Then I realized, no of course, he’d want to cook. He started a gluten/casien free diet when he was a toddler. 18 years ago, no one knew what gluten free was, so I pulled him up on the kitchen island and we baked. Baking and cooking are process driven. You follow the steps and in the end, you get a yummy reward. It’s very satisfying work for him.

Being a chef would’ve been impossible. He wasn’t verbal enough to make it through an interview. If a restaurant would take a chance on him, he’d be relegated to the dishwasher.  He has an incredible palate and like most people on the spectrum amazing detail and process skills.  A dishwashing position would be a waste of his potential and most likely a disaster.

All parents want their children to grow to be happy fulfilled people.  My husband and I had to make career choices that paid the bills and supported the family.  When helping our children plan their futures, we stressed to want more than money. You want to do something interesting. You want to feel like you are doing is something useful. You want to feel like your work is needed, that need gives you a feeling that you are important. Your work adds to your self-worth. 

To live the life you want to, to enjoy your work and feel validated is important for everyone but especially for someone with special needs. Work has to be enjoyable, otherwise it’s another tedious task in a world that doesn’t always make sense. So, with a lot of hope and hustle we decided to make his dream of being a chef a reality and give other people’ s children an opportunity for meaningful work as well . In this process, I’ve gained a few pounds and realized I hate frosting , but I’ve found meaningful work.