BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Father Sam's Bakery on the city's east side is best known for its Syrian flat bread, which is sold under a number of different labels.
The company was founded by an Episcopal priest, Father Samuel Sam, who took a chance baking flat bread for communion instead of the traditional wafers.
Father Sam's son, Samuel Sam, Jr. said, "So we started out in 1977 in July at a very small, 1500-square foot building, and began from that beginning of making a very large size, frisbee-size Syrian bread."
The company has also recognized the value of hiring workers with disabilities and in the last four years the bakery has placed 15 individuals through Goodwill Industries.
Production manager Nick Sam said, "They send us people that they know want to succeed, They want to do well, they want to take their lives to the next step, and we love that. That's the reason this works."
And for its commitment, Father Sam's Bakery was recognized as one of the region's top companies for hiring workers with disabilities at an awards luncheon sponsored by the Western New York Employment Consortium. State programs offer a number of incentives for employers.
Dennis Martinez of the WNY Employment Consortium said, "Including tax credits and wage reimbursement programs. But really, the bottom line is the people that are trained, they are pre-screened, they are qualified, they are ready to work, and they are just waiting for that opportunity to prove themselves."
How dedicated are the workers at Father Sam's Bakery? One of their placed individuals forewent another awards ceremony, earlier this week, just so she could get the job done.
Operations assistant Jonathan Palma said, "She was one of my hardest, so I was really excited about that. But she completed a lot of things which was really encouraging and nice to see."
News 4's Al Vaughters was once again honored to emcee the ceremony. Eleven employers were recognized by a consortium that includes state and local officials, And special services providers.
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