Cooking Up A Nonprofit

On any weekend, you’re likely to find Bridget Lane baking cookies.

But her cookies are a little more complex than the average chocolate chip treat and not just because they’re gluten free. Lane’s cookies got their start in a special situation and have grown into a business designed to nourish those in special situations.

Lane, who lives in Lafayette, is the mother of a 61/2-year-old and two 5-year-old twins, all boys and all on the autism spectrum. When her eldest was diagnosed at age 3, Lane and her husband, both dietitians, decided to try a gluten-free diet for their son, a regimen some families say has helped their autistic children.

As she began homing in on the right technique and ingredients — she says one secret is her flour that’s a mixture of brown rice, white rice, tapioca and potato starch — the idea of starting a cookie company bubbled up to consciousness.

Lane got to work filling out the paperwork to set up a nonprofit, called One Mom on a Mission. Its cookie business, appropriately enough, is called Helping Hands Bakery.

Lane’s idea was bigger than simply making cookies for a cause. She wanted to offer work to people with disabilities to help them find a purpose in the larger community.

Helping Hands currently employs about 10 part-time workers, half of whom have disabilities.

“They come. We teach them how to do everything from scooping cookie dough, cookie creation, cookie formation,” Lane says.

Some of those employees help Lane present samples in Whole Foods.

“We don’t want them back in some warehouse,” Lane says. “We want them to be back in the community with the rest of us.”

Photo by Helping Hands.

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