Welcome to Taproot Kitchen!
Taproot Kitchen is a culinary venture whose main ingredients are people and produce: adults with autism and intellectual disabilities and fresh food gleaned from local farms. We see value and worth in both, engaging and employing people with ID in the culinary arts and gleaning unharvested food. With these unique ingredients, our team creates artisan dishes that highlight the flavors of the season.
Top row, l-r: Sharon Schafer, Kris Northup, Pat Moore
Bottom row, l-r: Anne Rohan, Joyce Kreuter, Janet Lyon
Taproot Kitchen began in 2014, when co-founders Sharon Schafer and Anne Rohan found themselves at a crossroads. Their special-needs children had recently graduated from high school, and Rohan and Schafer had been discussing plans to start a community-based volunteer organization for years. Their dream became a reality when they took the plunge this past summer to create an inclusive community for young adults with autism and intellectual disabilities, low-income individuals, and local organizations that supports volunteer food preparation.
Since then, Taproot Kitchen has grown from cooking classes to a catering company delivering chef-quality food to events in the Centre Region.
Individuals with intellectual disabilities have access to a variety of support services while they’re young. For most adults, a 21st birthday is a rite of passage and a time of celebration. But for those with ID, rather than the world opening up, becoming an adult can mean fewer resources, less opportunity, and isolation. Taproot Kitchen offers culinary training, meaningful employment and community for individuals with ID.
Members of Taproot Kitchen work from their home base at the Meetinghouse on Atherton, as well as an off-site commercial kitchen, to grow, pick, glean, preserve, cook, cater and serve healthy, local food.
We are proud to partner with many local people and organizations. These partnerships allow us to learn additional culinary techniques and bring fresh produce to our clients.