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The Chocolate Spectrum in Jupiter changes lives by employing people on the autism spectrum

Posted at 12:44 PM, Dec 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-31 17:18:29-05

JUPITER, Fla. — A Jupiter business is making strides in the autism community.

Beaters are mixing and measuring at the Chocolate Spectrum to make the perfect sweet treats.

But there's a lot more than ingredients behind these recipes.

"I’ve been here since 2015 and i love every minute of it," said chocolatier Michael Pagan. "We have our white, milk, and dark chocolate always tempering so they don't melt in the sun."

He's one of several employees at the Chocolate Spectrum on the autism spectrum.

"I’m convinced that everybody has a purpose, and everybody can be trained to do something," said Valerie Herskowitz, the owner of the Chocolate Spectrum.

The business was Herskowitz's plan, but after seeing the lack of work opportunities for young adults on the spectrum, like her own son, Blake, she stepped up to set a new standard.

"This is just another cog in the wheel in my journey as his mother," said Herskowitz.

The Chocolate Spectrum has grown into a retail shop with two satellite locations and training programs, mail orders, as well as chocolate for weddings.

But Valerie strives for more.

"We're not totally at a point where we are sustainable yet, especially without grants," said Herskowitz. "We still need donations and grants from the community to stay afloat."

But she said with this team behind her, she knows that can be within reach.

"I love my crew, we're family," said Herskowitz.

Adding a little extra sweetnes to every bite.

You can visit the Chocolate Spectrum at 6725 W. Indiantown Road in Jupiter. To learn more about the company, click here.