New Beginnings at Courage Cookies with Harley
A new instalment in The Accessible Normal: a summer series on the impact of lockdowns on the neuro-diverse community.
Find new articles through Good Foot every Thursday, all summer long.
When the pandemic started and the world baked their way through lockdowns, soon-to-be-When the pandemic started and the world baked their way through lockdowns, soon-to-be-co-founders, Chelsea and Ian also took to the kitchen, baking cookies from the family recipe book to spread joy amongst loved ones. The cookies were in such high demand that they realized they could turn it into a business, operating at first out of their home, and eventually from the kitchen of a restaurant that was temporarily closed. The premise was simple – Courage Cookies would sell their family staple treat and donate 5% of revenue to local organizations that were helping those in need. Once a month, they would launch a 24 hour fundraiser and donate all of that money to even more organizations doing impactful community work.
When Good Foot reached out to Courage Cookies in May 2021, it was to see if they would be interested in using Good Foot to deliver cookies in Toronto. Instead, a new partnership bloomed, and Courage Cookies officially became part of the In, Up, and Out program.
In, Up, and Out is one of Good Foot’s foundational programs, providing extensive ‘In’ training to get Couriers started, hosting workshops and other skill development opportunities while they move ‘Up’ in their roles, and finding placements ‘Out’ of Good Foot to learn new skills and experience work in different environments.
Harley took on a placement with Courage Cookies in May, and he is now working this job alongside his employment at Good Foot. The placement at Courage Cookies would be his first new job since starting at Good Foot almost eight years ago, and he was a little nervous to start in a new workplace.
He didn’t need to worry! His new team at Courage Cookies was immediately warm and welcoming, and his first day consisted of all the usual features of a new job – what he would be doing, who he would be working with, and what the company’s mission was. On an average day at Courage Cookies, Harley might find himself doing anything from preparing cookie packages to washing dishes to rolling dough.
The work at Courage Cookies is different from his Courier position, but Harley found there The work at Courage Cookies is different from his Courier position, but Harley found there were a lot of useful skills from Good Foot that he could bring to the table in his new role. For example, his comfort with the TTC enabled him to split his shifts at the kitchen where cookies are made, and the Stackt Market storefront where the cookies are actually sold. Being able to transit between locations has given him more control over his schedule, and he was glad that he could accept the option when it was offered.
He’s also bringing some softer skills to Courage Cookies that he fostered from the social events and customer interactions at Good Foot. When he started as a Courier, he admits that he was very shy in social settings, but that his time at Good Foot has helped increase his confidence. When it came time to start work in a new setting at Courage Cookies, he felt much more comfortable introducing himself confidently to his new team, and building relationships with his new colleagues.
“I was shy when I started at Good Foot, but I’ve gained a lot of confidence”Harley
Harley was excited to take on the extra placement with Courage Cookies because it helped to fill his schedule again after a long break from work during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Having a full calendar with Good Foot and Courage Cookies is bringing him back to the meaningful schedule that he enjoyed before the pandemic. One of the biggest things that he’s learned from the past year and his new placement, has been how important it is for him to be able to get out of the house, be around friends at work, and feel excited about what he does every day.
Like many of the Good Foot staff, he recently started working as a Courier again and Good Foot’s COVID training made him feel safe to start. Harley attended a lot of the Good Foot events on Zoom during lockdowns, which made the tough times feel a bit easier. We both attended one memorable cookie-making event over Zoom, where Good Foot employees learned to make cookies with kits from local bake shop, Carolina’s Brownies. I asked if his job with Courage Cookies has turned him into an expert baker. He just laughed, and said no.
Now that Good Foot is hosting more in-person events, he’s been attending most of them, but there have been so many that he feels like he might need to recover from all the socializing. He’ll still make it to the Good Foot company outing to Stackt Market this weekend though, as he’ll be able to stop by Courage Cookies and say hi!
Although he loves the busy calendar from Good Foot and Courage Cookies, he’s looking forward to his day off from both jobs – a busy and meaningful schedule definitely should include a day in the sun with friends and cookies.
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