It takes a lot of skill to become an artisan of donuts, and that’s what Anna is beginning to master. As a “donut engineer” at Retro Donuts in Spokane, one of Anna’s many responsibilities is to make sure the sweet treats are filled with delicious creams and jams. It’s a work of art.
“I take a regular donut and grind it up a bit and then push the fillings inside,” Anna says. “It’s a lot of fun and so rewarding knowing that someone is going to really enjoy eating it.”
Joe Fine, creator and owner of Retro Donuts, learned about Anna through Theresa Ray, an employment consultant with Northwest Center Employment Services. Fine immediately saw an excellent role for Anna as a donut engineer, a position she has now held for more than a year.
“Workplace inclusion is vital,” Fine says, “as long as owners and managers support their employees by providing more than just menial tasks for them.”
Anna says that working at Retro Donuts lifts her spirits every day. “My coworkers treat me with respect and accept me for who I am,” she says. “It means the world to me!”
She also enjoys sharing her poetry with coworkers—she’s been writing poetry since childhood (her first work, “Froggie,” was about a frog her parents spotted when she was young).
“I love to read and write poetry almost every day and learned that there’s no right or wrong way to write it,” she says. “I just write a poem how I’m feeling that day and it’s awesome.”
“We don’t view Anna as different than anyone else that works here,” Fine says. “We work together as a team and fully understand everyone’s contribution to the team. We have the same expectations of every employee, based on their developing abilities.”
They’re expectations that Anna is happy to live up to.
“I’m pretty pooped at the end of the day,” she says. “But I feel great!”
Northwest Center is passionate about equal rights, anti-ableism, and full inclusion for people with disabilities. Thank you for reading.