At Corporate Cookie Caffe, a little-known cafe on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Los Angeles, the cause is as good as the cappuccino.
Owned and operated by Portals, a nonprofit United Way mental health agency, the business employs adults with mental disabilities, teaching them everything from making sandwiches and mixing cookie dough to baking pastries and supervising a counter.
"I like being around this type of work environment," said Los Angeles resident Darryl Edwards, 23, who has worked at the cafe for nearly three months. "My motivation was shot down when my father died. Portals has helped me a lot to turn my life around."
The 1,500-square-foot cafe, which opened in April, serves coffee drinks, tea and sodas, as well as salads and sandwiches. But its specialty is baked goods: brownies, turnovers, cheesecakes, cream puffs and 11 flavors of cookies, priced from 95 cents to $1.50.