- Jordyn’s Deli in West Virginia is a “special kind of eatery” that showcases the talents and abilities of people with special needs.
- The deli went viral last month after sharing a story about Angelina — a staff member whose both legs were amputated but wanted to be a cook and later on, a manager.
- In a Facebook post, the deli’s owner said: “When one of your best employees comes to you and says that in spite of all obstacles, they want to be a cook…you find a way to make it happen.”
Falling Waters, West Virginia has a “special kind of eatery” that showcases the talents and abilities of people with special needs.
According to owner Bob Parks, ” the deli is an environment of complete inclusion, equal pay and equal job responsibilities.”
Last month, one of the deli’s Facebook posts went viral for featuring one of their longest employees — Angelina Seal.
Angelina has Lumbosacral agenesis. “I was born with my legs crossed, it had a web in between where my leg and knees were,” she explained.
When Angelina was 12, she and her family decided to amputate her legs so she could walk. She is one of the deli’s first employees when it opened in February 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Angeline has been working the register for more than a year now. She shared that she used to be very shy and nervous to work in the front.
But working in the deli boosted her confidence.
“Every time I go into or leave the deli, I feel normal and accepted with my disability,” Angelina said. “The way I look at Jordyn’s Deli will always be my comfort spot to me. Whenever people come in, they already know what’s happening so they aren’t so judgmental about it.”
“Everyone is accepted,” said Bob. “We have disabilities, but we are so beyond that.”
The deli was named after Bob’s daughter Jordyn – who has autism and epilepsy. “She is the definition of love and loves everybody.”
“We sell the best Reubens and Cubans,” Angelina quipped. But, the best Jordyn’s Deli can offer is inclusivity.
“We are average people, we don’t have a lot of money,” said Bob. “We started this on a whim and a prayer and part of our goal is to inspire others to do what we have done.”
The deli’s employees say working at Jordyn’s Deli is their favorite thing to do.
With her newfound confidence, Angelina was promoted and now, that puts her one step closer to her dream of becoming a manager.
“Angelina moving into the back of the restaurant is huge,” Bob explained. “She came to me sometime ago and said she wanted to be a manager and she wasn’t kidding.”
Bob says, to be a manager, someone must be well versed in every position in the business.
So, he built a personalized workstation in the kitchen to accommodate Angelina’s needs so that she can cook.
In the Facebook post that went viral, the owners wrote “when one of your best employees comes to you and says that in spite of all obstacles, they want to be a cook – you find a way to make it happen.”
Source: ABC 7