Food For Thought

Blog
Feb 02, 2011 BY Christine York

At Planet Vox, our days are filled with meaningful projects and clients who work for a better world. As each client brings their vision to the table, we experience the world in a new and edifying way. Recently, we had the privilege of working with the good folks at Wildflour Catering, who served up more than just a fresh cup of perspective.

A full-service catering company in Chantilly, VA, Wildflour employs and empowers intellectually-disabled workers. Headed by the dynamic duo of Alberto Sangiorgio and Jim Rogan, Wildflour provides these individuals with a life-altering experience that not only enables them to contribute to their communities, but also teaches them valuable skills in the kitchen and in life. Wildflour presents a refined model for integrating intellectually disabled individuals into the work place by way of continual training and encouragement. Check them out here!

The team at Planet Vox made the trek from our DC office to document the Wildflour enterprise. Upon arrival, we were greeted with smiling, lively faces, which were eager to show us the magic behind Wildflour’s operation. Equipped with our Panasonic HVX-200 and HVX-500 P2 HD cameras, we captured the impressive work of Wildflour’s twenty-nine disabled workers, who form the heart of a warm and loving environment that is also characterized by quality and hard work. Wildflour employees perform food preparation tasks such as chopping vegetables, create specialty products including dog biscuits, gift baskets, and spice mixes, and charismatically serve customers at the Wildflour storefront cafe, demonstrating the potential of the intellectually-disabled to contribute valuable labor to the economy.

We had the opportunity to sit down with several of Wildflour’s visionaries, including Alberto Sangiorgio. Enacting the roles of boss, head chef, coach, father figure, and friend, Alberto’s passion for empowering his “kids,” as he calls them fondly, is nothing short of inspiring.

According to Alberto, “The only thing you need to do is trust them and let them come to the same level that you are as a person. When they believe that you look at them that way, they will do anything for you.”

Needless to say, our shoot at Wildflour was eye opening and was defined by a hopeful message of equality. With the aspiration to open more minds to the potential of intellectually disabled workers, we produced a video for Wildflour, which you can watch here. We are excited to see what the future holds for both Wildflour and intellectually disabled individuals.