By Carla Zanoni
INWOOD — When the owners of Indian Road Café opened their eatery in 2008, the owners decided to hire people who have disabilities whenever possible.
As a result of that decision, the café was named the 2010 small business recipient of the "Works For Me" award from the New York State Office for People with Development Disabilities. They received the award for their "supportive attitude when it comes to employing people with developmental disabilities." They say they do it because it's just the right thing to do.
Since opening in 2008, owners Jason Minter and Jason Berger say they have employed several people through AHRC, an agency that places adults with disabilities in jobs with great success.
They point to employee Jermaine Yarborough as a shining example of that success.
One of the first hires when the store opened, Yarborough was hired as a part-time porter, but did so well that he was promoted to lead trainer and porter within a year.
He now works full time at the restaurant, training new staff while enjoying learning how to make espressos and cook.
"He takes initiative, I never have to tell him what to do, he just does it, and he’s been here longer than any employee other than myself," said co-owner Minter, who said he sees Yarborough as one of the family.
"Jermaine has a great affect on moral on the staff here, he has a terrific sense of humor we goof on him and he goofs back — and really contributes to the environment at the restaurant," Minter said.