Hiring people with disability at Crepe Café Aspley has been a game-changer both personally and professionally for owner Emma.
In the three years she has been connected with EPIC, Emma has provided employment opportunities for six people with disability. She has had her ideas of disability challenged and her perspectives broadened.
“I must admit, in the beginning, I was probably a little taken aback. I think when you hear the word disability, you think I don’t have anything to offer,” says Emma.
“Before meeting EPIC, I was more visual with a disability, if someone can’t use an arm or can’t walk properly, how they are going to cook or carry things.
“I didn’t realise there are a range of disabilities that were not just visual. Like struggling with anxiety or having a slight speech problem,” says Emma.
Emma is pleased she’s able to create opportunities for people that aren’t always given a chance. She recently had a customer come up to the counter and ask to speak to the manager. Holding a toddler with Down syndrome, the customer seemed quite emotional, and Emma was concerned to find out what had happened.
The customer explained, “I just want to introduce you to my son. I’ve been sitting here this whole time and all I’ve been doing is watching Shay. I’m so pleased to see someone has given someone with Down syndrome an opportunity to work. It means my son has hope!”
Emma explained how the experience gave her goose bumps and says employing people with a disability has changed the dynamic of Crepe Café.
“We get a lot of customers come in to interact with the runners we have taking out the food, and they think it’s great!” said Emma.
“Customers are rapt to see them working, seeing them out there and enjoying themselves.”
EPIC business development manager Andrew has been working alongside Emma to understand her business needs and what is required of new employees to make sure they succeed.
“He knows what my expectations are and knows my standards. If someone fits that box, great,” says Emma.
EPIC is now one of Emma’s go-to organisations for hiring new staff, and she appreciates that EPIC always has her best interests at heart.
“I’ve said to Andrew, ‘some of my employees have moved on and I’m looking to fill those roles’. Andrew has said, ‘I don’t have anyone at the moment’”, says Emma.
“He’s honest about that, and won’t just flick me anyone,” says Emma.
Emma is passionate about the change brought to Crepe Café through hiring people with disability, and believes other businesses could experience the same business benefits.
“Consider what they can bring to your business. It probably helps boost sales and customers likely support a business over another one.”
“People with a disability can do a lot more than what society labels them with. There’s a lot that they can do.”
“They really do put the effort in. It’s a win/win,” says Emma.