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Business is booming for Milwaukee company that hires adults with disabilities

Posted at 6:01 PM, Feb 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 10:24:03-05

MILWAUKEE — Inside a Milwaukee warehouse, business goes on as one would expect. People are bustling inside the light assembly section. In the kitchen, hands are moving fast to fulfill new orders. It would appear this is an average warehouse, but it's not. Many of the employees inside are adults with disabilities.

The Eisenhower Center in Milwaukee specializes in vocational rehabilitation for adults with disabilities.

"Our goal is to teach inspire and train people to fulfill their full potential," CEO of the Eisenhower Center David Ordan said.

It's going really well too. In fact, it's almost going too well.

"Right now we have the best problem you could have. We almost have too much business," Ordan said.

Specifically in the kitchen department. The Eisenhower Center set up a dog treat company called Ike's Gourmet. They sell organic dog treats. It's all made on-site by their employees.

Eventually, sales began to pick up. Then another local dog treat maker decided to subcontract them to fulfill their orders. The business has been booming recently.

"Booming is really tired. I’m really tired, but I can work over that," Douglas Staf, a baker with Ike's Gourmet, said.

It keeps staff hard at work as he works on baking all the treats. He gets some help from his partner, Amy James.

"It’s fun. I like doing stuff with food," she said with sign language. Cindy Freeman, an intern for the Eisenhower Center, translates what Amy said.

The Eisenhower Center accommodates people with all different levels of abilities. No one is left out.

"So my goal is to take us from a safety net to a rocket ship," Ordan said.

Now the Eisenhower Center is trying to figure out how to scale up its operation.

“The only thing that is stopping us from taking this national and really taking off is a professional kitchen with professional equipment," Ordan said.

To help, go to the Eisenhower Center website or go to Ike's Gourmet to order some treats for your dog.

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