HIGHLAND CHOCOLATES: It’s mission makes it even sweeter
Tioga County | Pine Creek Valley & the PA Grand Canyon of the Pennsylvania Wilds
By Katie Weidenboerner Deppen
Its mission makes Highland Chocolates even sweeter.
The non-profit, located in Wellsboro, is owned and operated by Partners In Progress, Inc., which is committed to helping people with disabilities to develop and implement vocational, residential, and social activities.
The small shop and candy production facility hires four staff members and about 20 people with physical, mental and emotional disabilities. Founded in 1994, it has grown to make between 5-6 tons of chocolate every year.
Lacey Kennedy, of Highland Chocolates, said aside from making a delicious product, the most important part of the work they do is teaching skills to individuals with disabilities so that they have the skills they need to get a job in the community.
Meghan Jayne, a tour guide there, has been with the shop for 15 years and loves it.
“I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned to watch what I do. Like I have to keep my eye on the product. Quality control, basically,” Megan said. “I’ve also learned to speak and raise my voice so that people can hear me when I give tours. Time management, I’ve learned so much about teamwork too — that is very important.”
“This is a fun place to work.”
*Photos uesd in this article were taken by Katie Weidenboerner Deppen as part of the Creative Makers of the Pennsylvania Wilds – A Traveling Public Art Show, which was partly funded by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it. Stock up on some sweets from Highland Chocolates!
See products and learn more at www.highlandchocolates.org!