Luv Michael Creates Opportunities for People with Autism

By Gabe Herman | November 5th, 2019

Do you like granola? Or do you "luv" it?

Luv Michael was founded in 2015 by Dr. Lisa Liberatore, inspired by her son, Michael, who has autism and was unable to work after the age of 18. Luv Michael’s website notes that every year, over 50,000 people with autism age out of the school system and are unable to find meaningful employment.

Liberatore, who is also president of the company, has created a place where Michael and others with autism are trained and educated in the culinary field with the goal of ultimate full-time employment.

“Luv Michael Co. was never designed to be a charity or provide young autistic adults with ‘something to do,’” according to Liberatore. "Rather," she says, "the mission has been to provide a meaningful culinary vocation for the Autistic population and to produce exceptional, gluten-free, and natural products."

The company employs ten “granologists,” all of whom have autism and all of whom work and train full-time five days a week until they are ready to participate in the manufacturing process. The employees learn through a five-point curriculum that was developed with a combination of autism education and culinary specialists. It’s also based partly on the New York State food handlers license exam.

The granola is organic, nut-free, and locally sourced. Luv Michael distributes its granola to a number of companies, including Starbucks, Fresh & Co., JetBlue, D’Agostino Supermarkets, and more than 60 other retailers in the New York City area.

More information about the company can be found at luvmichael.com.

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