About Maine-Tex Salsa
** Hello!

Hello! My name is Stephanie Lay and I'm the owner of Maine-Tex Salsa and the founder of the Special Foundation for Autism...

And we're about to change the world of autism with salsa. You heard that right, SALSA!

In 2002 my son, Bryce was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). That year the CDC reported that autism was found in 1 in 500 children. Today their statistics show that 1 in 59 children have been identified with ASD.

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Bryce & Stephanie
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The biggest fear for a parent of a child with autism is how are they going to provide for themselves as adults? Well I discovered how my son was going to alleviate my fear by one picture I posted on social media.

Bryce grillin' the tomatoes

Within two weeks of posting the picture of Bryce grilling the tomatoes for my grilled salsa recipe, we had 109 orders, a food scientist, a patent attorney, and the USDA involved in our lives. It also led us to being invited to meet the governor. It was that day he gave me a medallion that says, "IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UP TO ME" and I believe it is up to me to create jobs in the autism community.

Currently, the unemployment rate in the autism population is 90%, and we want to change that. After seeing my son work and grow along with the "family business" I decided to navigate SPECIAL into a different direction - a work program. Now, we are working with the Department of Labor and Department of Health and Human Services in Augusta to guide us in making this happen. This isn't a dream, this is a necessity.

I taught Bryce how to cook at the age of seven. My goal was to make sure he could at least cook and feed himself, because without me he would be by himself. By the age of ten he began to grill his meals - and TODAY he runs the grill. He, alone, grilled 500 lbs. of tomatoes in five hours this past weekend.

Maine-Tex currently has distribution in over one hundred stores in Maine and New Hampshire. On average we deliver twenty five-cases a week to meet customer demand - our biggest and very first customer was Hannaford. We are in twenty-seven of their stores, and were just approved for more locations and future growth. Obviously, there are a LOT of salsas on the market, but no grilled salsa. We're a salsa company with a unique flavor, and an important social mission.

Here's why the Greenlight Maine funding is so vital to our growth: It will allow us to purchase specialized equipment for a safe, structured working environment. Side note: I have almost eliminated all knives in our production except for one, and that can be rectified by a simple solution, funding. We are currently working with the Town of Windham Economic & Development Corp. to solidify a commercial kitchen space, all we need is the equipment.

With your support we can give individuals with autism not only a path to employment, but more importantly, be able to provide for themselves in a structured setting.

Regards,

Stephanie S. Lay
Owner: Maine-Tex LLC.

 

SPECIAL Foundation for Autism