Sunflower Café

Training Young Adults with Learning Differences in Baking, Pastry Arts and Job Training

Sunflower Café is a local gem dedicated to building a productive and inclusive community. Located in Gaithersburg, Sunflower Café trains young adults with learning differences in baking, pastry arts and job training in preparation for employment.


Co-founders Laurie Wexler and Sara Milner wanted to design a program dedicated to preparing their students for lifelong success while building off of their individual strengths. The young pastry chefs at Sunflower Bakery are taught by a team of people who encourage, teach, and prepare the students for their transition into the café.


Sunflower Café sits in North Bethesda and allows students to apply the strategies learned inside the bakery to adapt to the work environment. Inside the café, students wait on customers, follow a varying work schedule and apply their culinary skills in addition to the characteristics expected inside a typical work environment. During their short time in business, their program has seen more than 150 graduates and counting.


Sunflower Bakery