In 2013, Naperville residents Megan and Justin Elder welcomed a special addition to their family.
A Little Baker
The couple brought home their daughter Mila through the National Down Syndrome Adoption Network. As the little girl grew older, it looked like she was shaping up to be a little baker.
“Mila has always loved to bake in the kitchen and so has Megan and it’s just been a bonding experience for them and so what better way to create a business and a way for us to start that dream that we had 10 years ago?” said Justin.
That dream is to provide a place of employment for people of all abilities. The Elders saw firsthand through the ministry they started some of the struggles this community faces.
“There wasn’t a lot of opportunities available for adults with different abilities,” said Megan. “We saw that need and had always had that hope that we’d be able to fill in the gaps somewhere along the way.”
A Dream Come True
Last summer, the Elders’ dream came true. They started their very own home bakery, Moose & Me, and now have two adult employees to help bake cookies and cakes.
8-year-old Mila, affectionately named Moose, and her sister Zoey also both enjoy lending a hand in the kitchen. The name Moose & Me represents the special relationship between the two.
“We just felt like Mila represented a different community and Zoey represented the ‘me’ type of community that is out there as well and bringing those two together,” said Megan. “Zoey’s relationship with Mila and how she treats her and cares for her is something we wanted to just expand on for the rest of the community to see that.”
The family hopes to eventually open a physical location in town.
“We just know how much joy Mila brings us and different adults that we know and our employees,” said Megan. “We just know how much they make our day better and we want that more for the whole community of Naperville.”
In honor of World Down Syndrome Day on March 21, the bakery created Down syndrome awareness cookies.
The $400 they made was donated to the National Down Syndrome Adoption Network. The couple also adopted daughter Audrey through the network.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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