Local businesses play an essential part in today’s society. These smaller companies often provide more job opportunities than large corporations. There is a restaurant in Denver, Colorado called Pizzability, that is different than most. The owner of the business has made it his goal to give people with disabilities a chance to work. Each of the employees is disabled in some way. The owner helps the employees find ways to work around their respective limitation. When you know more about the owner, you will understand why she hires people with disabilities.
Tiffany Fixter is the owner of Pizzability. Before opening the restaurant, she worked as a teacher for special needs children. When she opened her restaurant, she wanted to continue to help people with special needs, so she decided to offer them jobs. Since Tiffany knew how to work with people with disabilities, she knew that she could help them work around them and be successful in their jobs.
Pizzability opened its doors in Cherry Creek, Denver. Many people were impressed by what Tiffany created in her business. Unfortunately, some people were less than impressed. In fact, it wasn’t uncommon for people to mock Tiffany’s employees. The food that Tiffany served at her restaurant was delicious. Whether her customers wanted pizza, pasta dishes, salads, or appetizers, her employees could handle it. They knew the food and how to make it, and it tasted great. Sadly, there were some people who couldn’t get over the fact that the employees were disabled.
In May 2019, Tiffany did an interview with Thedenverchannel.com about her business. During the interview, she said, “Everybody on my staff has an intellectual or developmental disability. We have people that are blind and deaf. They have autism, down syndrome, and cerebral palsy. During her interview, she also discussed the Brewability Lab. This was the first business that she opened in Denver, and this one, like Pizzability, is staffed only by disabled people.
Making It Work
Tiffany says that she has to run her businesses differently than other business owners. Since she had experience teaching people with special needs, Tiffany knew what her employees needed to be successful. Since some of her staff members could read and some couldn’t, she had to color-code everything. When Tiffany opened Brewability Lab, its Facebook page earned over 6,000 likes and had over 6,500 followers. It also had 400 recommendations. When she saw how successful and popular her first business was, she opened Pizzability in 2018. She says that she only needed six employees at her brewery, and wanted to offer more disabled individuals a chance, so she opened her second business.
A Sensory Room
Tiffany turned her office into a sensory room for her employees. It was a place for them to go if they started to feel overwhelmed or needed a break. After spending a few minutes in the room, her employees were able to calm down, refocus, and return to work. She also created a checklist for her employees so that they could work independently, without her needing to tell them what to do. This gave her employees the confidence that they needed.
Tori Mason is a reporter for CBS 4 and a regular customer at Pizzability. Not only did she love the food, she appreciated that Tiffany had created a happy workplace for people who were disabled. After talking to Tiffany for a bit, Tori was furious. Tiffany told her that people stand outside, afraid to come in. Some people walk by and say, “that’s where the ret**ds work.” she says that the employees often hear these comments. Tori was furious about the things that Tiffany told her, so she took to Facebook to vent.
In her Facebook post, Tori wrote about the horrible things that she heard from Tiffany. She went on to say, “I am heartbroken and disgusted because this place is built on acceptance and love. Please give them your business and your tolerance. Don’t go because you feel bad, go because the pizza and service and DARN GOOD.”
It didn’t take long for Tori’s post to go viral. In a short time, the post had over 6,000 likes and over 6,000 shares. There were also over 1,400 comments on the post. Most people were supportive of Tiffany’s businesses. Most of the people who commented mentioned their wonderful experiences at the two businesses. One person wrote, “I pho in and buy a soda every time I work in the area. Everyone is so helpful and kind. I’ll always support this place, and it’s employees!”
A Wonderful Thing
When disabled workers were mocked at Pizzability, a devastated woman took matters into her own hands. She wanted to let people know what a fantastic thing the owner was doing for the disabled people in the community. She also wanted people to know that they could handle the job because the food was excellent. Tori wanted the world to know that just because a person has a disability, it doesn’t mean that they can’t do everything that everyone can do. Tiffany’s businesses have made a difference, and so did Tori’s post.