Phoenix, Arizona (September 30, 2015) – When Matt Resnik, a 24-year-old man with autism, started SMILE Biscotti in October 2013, his family hoped the business would provide him with meaningful activity after high school graduation while teaching him new skills on his road to greater independence. SMILE is an acronym for Supporting Matt’s Independent Living Enterprise.
Just before the company’s second year anniversary, SMILE Biscotti has sold more than 100,000 biscotti to a steady customer base in Arizona and a growing number of customers around the world.
But the sales numbers tell only a portion of the story. Seven co-workers with autism and special needs have joined up with Matt to produce all these SMILE’s while also increasing their work skills, stamina and productivity.
According to Rob Resnik, Matt’s dad and SMILE business manager, “It’s been tremendously rewarding to see the growth in our special bakers in terms of confidence, discipline and social skills. They are truly our ‘special ingredient’ and prove their worth on a daily basis in a competitive business environment.”
SMILE Biscotti recently began selling at three Sprouts Farmers Market stores in the Valley and five retailers (AmAZing, A-Z Kids, Curious Creatures, PHXpress and MiniXpress) at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport owned by Phoenix-based CASA Unlimited.
SMILE Biscotti is also sold at Peet’s Coffee and Tea (Sky Harbor Terminal 4), Changing Hands Phoenix & First Draft Book Bar (300 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix), Duck and Decanter (1651 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix), Arcadia Farms (7014 E. First Ave., Scottsdale) and Churn (5223 N. Central Ave., Phoenix).
Online, the business has grown by selling a variety of gift packages and filling orders for special events and occasions.
“The community’s response to SMILE Biscotti has been tremendous and the demand has demonstrated there is definitely a compassionate market for businesses operated by individuals with very special needs and abilities. We are so proud of the increased productivity, professionalism and social interactions of Matt and his co-workers,” said Denise D. Resnik, Matt’s mom and co-founder of Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC).
Prior to launching SMILE Biscotti, Matt and his parents participated in SARRC’s Rising Entrepreneurs® program, funded by the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council. The program helps participants like Matt develop and maintain a home-based baking business.
About SMILE Biscotti
SMILE Biscotti (Supporting Matt’s Independent Living Enterprise) sells a variety of biscotti, baked by Matt Resnik, around the world. Resnik is a young adult with autism. After high school graduation, he created SMILE Biscotti to support himself and save for his own place to live. SMILE Biscotti is a proud member of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. Visit www.smilebiscotti.com for more information.