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LIC’s Coff eed teams with autistic baker for a special cookie sale
BY BILL PARRY
Coff eed, the Long Island City-based
philanthropic artisanal coff ee company,
is teaming with Julia Maidman, a 20-yearold
with autism and a passion for baking,
to produce and sell thousands of cookies
to bring hope to families and people of all
ages who are living with autism.
Th e team at Coff eed along with Julia’s
Kitchen, which Maidman runs, will bake
chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies. Th e
sweet treats are on sale now through the
end of April, which is Autism Awareness
Month, online at JuliasCookies.org and at
Coff eed locations across the city.
“Julia, our master baker, is delighted to
share her delicious cookies, the result of
great devotion, hard work and the desire
to bake us happy,” Maidman’s mother
Arlene said. “Th is has been her passion
since she took her fi rst cooking class three
Proceeds from the cookie sales will benefi
t Next for Autism, a nonprofi t that creates
and supports innovative programs
for individuals with autism and their
families nationally; and Coff eed’s longtime
community partner Community
Mainstreaming, a Long Island-based
nonprofi t that helps people with intellectual
and developmental disabilities lead
meaningful, productive lives within their
communities through individualized and
person centered supports for home and
“Julia has shown that it’s possible for
young adults with autism to learn skills
that could lead to purposeful work,” Next
for Autism President Ilene Lainer said.
“Young adults with autism face signifi -
cant hurdles to employment. Th ey lack
Julia Maldman of Julia's Kitchen is teaming up with Coff eed for a special cookie sale benefi ting autism research.
training and the proper supports to help
them thrive. Th at’s the reason Next for
Autism is intently focused on creating
programs that empower young adults
with choices and opportunities to fulfi ll
their potential and become participating
members of our community.”
Frank “Turtle” Raff aele and a group
of friends started Coff eed in 2012 as a
for-profi t with a charitable component
with 5 to 10 percent of its gross revenue
going to charities such as the Refugee and
Immigrant Fund based in Astoria, the
New York Foundling, and City Growers.
In addition to supporting the charitable
organizations, Coff eed staff s its locations
with the people they serve.
“We are committed to hiring people in
the community with disabilities,” Raff aele
Each Sunday for the past six months,
Coff eed co-founder Abe King picks up
Maidman and other young cooks from
their home and brings them to the company’s
Photo courtesy of Next for Autism
industrial kitchen in Long Island
City, where they produce the cookies.
“Owners and managers need to realize
they are in a meaningful position that
can make a diff erence in the lives of this
group and at the same time bring tremendous
benefi ts to themselves and their
business,” King said. “People with disabilities
have tremendous untapped abilities.
We all have, or will have, disabilities at
some point in our lives and the humanity
we show others is what counts.”
‘Empty Bowl’ in Kew Gardens raising hunger awareness
BY EMILY DAVENPORT
On April 16, the Kew Gardens Empty
Bowls Event will return to the neighborhood
to help the public understand the
hunger crisis throughout the world.
In 1990, Michigan art teacher John
Hartom wanted to help his students fi nd
a new, creative way to raise money to support
a food drive. What came out was the
fi rst Empty Bowl event, where students
made ceramic bowls to give out at a fundraising
meal and served guests a bowl of
soup and bread.
Guests were invited to keep their bowls
as a reminder that many bowls throughout
the world are always empty, and that
as a community we can work together
to fi ll these bowls. Since that fi rst event,
Empty Bowl events have been held not
just in the United States and Canada,
but in New Zealand, Germany, Finland,
England and Hong Kong as well.
Empty Bowls events have raised millions
of dollars for families in need, and in
2012 a group of Kew Gardens volunteers
decided to take matters into their own
hands and start hosting events in Kew
Gardens. Over the past seven years, more
than 600 local attendees have helped raise
over $20,000 for the fi ght against hunger.
Th ose who attend the April event will
be able to choose their bowl, enjoy a simple
meal of soup and bread, and take
home their cherished bowls to remember
that there are always empty bowls in
Th e event will take place at Austin’s Ale
House, located at 82-70 Austin St., and
will off er two seating times, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
and 7:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets cost $20, and
proceeds will go help families in need.
Seating is limited. To reserve your spot
ahead of time, visit www.potterswheelny.
com/empty-bowls-2019 or www.river.
fund/empty-bowls-2019. Seating will be
available on a fi rst-come, fi rst-served
basis on the day of the event. Photo via Getty Images