Windham, Maine – A local mother is using her grilled salsa recipe to embark on an entrepreneurial endeavour, connect with her teenage son and provide the youngster with the opportunity to learn useful and effective life skills.
Editor’s Note: Stephanie Lay got in touch with us to identify some of the errors in the original report that we used. We are happy to clarify this information and to share that we will be doing a longer interview with Stephanie later this month. The errors are: Bryce has never been aggressive. He has severe SIB’s (Self Injurious Behaviors). Also, he was diagnosed at the age of two-and-a-half not 5 as the original report stated. Doug Mercier is the manager, not owner, of Hannaford’s . The name of the salsa was Stephanie’s idea as she moved to Maine from Texas a decade earlier, thus, Maine-Tex.
Stephanie Lay’s 14 year old son Bryce was diagnosed with ASD at the age of 5 after he had multiple outbursts and displayed persistent aggressive behaviours. However she experienced a breakthrough after encouraging Bryce to join her in performing everyday household tasks such as cooking. As a result, they eventually developed a tasty grilled salsa recipe that, after being posted on Facebook, garnered 109 orders in only two weeks.
After both a patents lawyer and food scientist became involved in preparing the salsa to be developed for commercial purposes, Lay contacted the staff at Hannaford’s in Falmouth in hopes of selling it in the store. Doug Mercier, Hannaford’s owner, was ultimately pleased to offer his support in selling what both he and Lay decided to name Maine Tex Grilled Salsa saying:
“To me its a great avenue for these types of folks to get into the work force and show what they’re made of.”
Lay hopes to raise money for the project through Kickstarter and plans to donate most of the proceeds to her autism foundation.