GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) - A local mom is on a mission to show off the abilities of people with special needs.
They have created a variety of popcorn products in high demand.
"They are proud, excited and just love having this opportunity" says Diane Gustin.
She's hard at work in the Brown County Culinary Kitchen with her team, including her son Drew.
"I started a company based on employing people with special needs" Gustin explains.
The idea popped into Diane's head when Drew was ready to graduate and find a job.
A few recipes later, Heart @ Work was born. It is popcorn with a purpose.
"I always tell Drew that he has a heart of gold so I wanted the word heart in it somewhere [in the name]. I really do feel that when these guys are in the kitchen they are putting their heart into everything they do" Gustin says.
Heart @ Work is not just a name, it is a philosophy. In the last two days they have produced more than 600 bags of popcorn
Organized and efficient, they take pride in every job.
"I like doing those labeling and sometimes I sprinkle caramel over there with chocolate on it" says Michael Kaquatosh, part of the crew at Heart @ Work.
Diane says here crew is "proud to be showing the community the skills when they go into the stores and they see their products, when they see their picture on the story. They are very proud and the deserve to be".
The popcorn is a hit, selling at local stores and in high demand for gift baskets especially around the holidays.
"We use cinnamon in our cinnamon bun and we have white chocolate drizzled across it. We have a caramel that tastes just like grandmas on Christmas day" says Gustin with a smile.
Heart @ Work also contracts work from people at Aspiro, NEW curative, and Innovative Services in Green Bay.
All three help people with special needs find work.
Click here for information on flavors and ordering.