New partnership provides meaningful work experiences for adults with Down syndrome
Fort Wayne, IN (May 6, 2021) – GiGi’s Genesis Health Bar and All-American Stores today announced a new partnership to expand career training opportunities to adults with Down syndrome. All-American Stores in Fort Wayne will now carry salads, wraps and sandwiches made by Ambassadors from GiGi’s Genesis Health Bar. During the month of May, all proceeds from the sales of these new items will go back to support GiGi’s Genesis Health Bar and GiGi’s Playhouse Fort Wayne’s career training programs. All-American has also pledged to raise $30,000 in donations made at their 9 stores’ registers to GiGi’s Playhouse Fort Wayne through the end of September.
“All-American is excited to see this partnership with GiGi’s continue to grow. The first time I stepped into Genesis and had their delicious food and one of their smoothies, I instantly began brainstorming ways to help them grow. My goal since has been to help drive funds and customers to GiGi’s Playhouse and GiGi’s Genesis Health Bar,” said Adam Dager, Owner of All-American Stores. “Like All-American, GiGi’s is still relatively new and unknown. In essence, we are both among Fort Wayne’s best kept secrets. That’s about to change! I want both of us to be destination stops for the masses around the area.”
As a part of GiGi’s Playhouse Fort Wayne, GiGi’s Genesis Health Bar opened in 2018 to extend real-world career training opportunities in a real-life, food-service environment. The Health Bar is open to the public and sells smoothies, wraps, make-your-own salads, sandwiches and quesadillas.
“Over the last year, we’ve looked at a variety of ways to provide career training in a real-world setting, even amid the pandemic,” said Teya Lahr, GiGi’s Genesis Health Bar Manager. “With many restaurants experiencing a decline in service, we started brainstorming creative ways to continue to provide our adults with Down syndrome with meaningful experiences while serving the community. The partnership with All-American does just that as our Ambassadors have the chance to pre-make salads, wraps and sandwiches that will be sold to members of our community.”
Starting May 10, the pre-made items will be available at the All-American on Dupont and both of their Lima Road locations.
“GiGi’s Playhouse Fort Wayne and GiGi’s Genesis Health Bar are 100 percent funded by the generosity of the community,” said Mandy Drakeford, Executive Director of GiGi’s Playhouse Fort Wayne. “Last year, All-American helped raise and match donations, which totaled nearly $16,000 to support our free, purposeful programs. All proceeds from the sales and donations at the register will go back to support our free educational, therapeutic and career training programs for more than 300 families in northeast Indiana.”
To purchase the grab-and-go items, customers are encouraged to visit any Fort Wayne All-American store (located at 513 E Dupont Road, 6520 Lima Road, and 9310 Lima Road). Customers can also donate at the register at any of the nine All-American locations in Ossian, Laotto, New Haven, Columbia City, Hoagland, and Monroeville.
About All-American Stores: Founded in 2012 in Laotto by Adam & Lisa Dager, All-American has rapidly grown to 9 locations specializing in convenience stores with gasoline in the Fort Wayne area. All-American Stores provides customers with clean and organized convenient locations, and strive for exceptional service at competitive prices. All-American Stores is invested in the Fort Wayne and surrounding communities their stores are located. All-American supports initiatives including veterans services through the MISSION: Fill the Boot Campaign, and targets the future through youth initiatives with partners such as GiGi’s Playhouse Fort Wayne, Junior Achievement of Northeast Indiana, World Baseball Academy, All-American Stars Travel Softball, and various youth leagues, and local high school band, choir, and athletics.
About GiGi’s Playhouse®: GiGi’s Playhouse is the only international network of Down Syndrome Achievement Centers created to provide free life-changing therapeutic and educational programs for all ages. With 53 locations across the U.S. and Mexico, and a demand to open 200 more, GiGi’s Playhouse is on a mission to change the way the world views Down syndrome and to send a global message of acceptance for all. Learn more at www.GiGisPlayhouse.org. GiGi’s At Home virtual programming now serves participants in 50 countries as we continue our commitment to free programming during the COVID-19 pandemic.
About GiGi’s Genesis Health Bar: Genesis Health Bar uniquely serves the community with healthy menu options, locally grown products and high-energy service, all while empowering people with Down syndrome through job skill development and employment opportunities.