If you thought treats couldn’t get any sweeter, you were wrong! Opportunity Enterprises’ Simply Amazing Market held the ribbon cutting for the opening of their first off-campus facility located directly at Meijer in Valparaiso.
The market includes goodies galore from flavored fudge, popcorn, and assorted candies, to Bavarian glazed nuts that are all handmade in their Valparaiso facility. Additionally, the art that OE participants create is available for sale.
Kacie Ensign, Development Director at Opportunity Enterprises, spoke about Simply Amazing Market’s beginnings.
“The Simply Amazing Market began about eleven years ago while OE was looking for new work opportunities for individuals with disabilities. We started with a fudge kitchen at our building, and it’s grown into what it is today,” Ensign said.
Customers not only have the opportunity to taste Simply Amazing Market products, but also catch a taste of what Opportunity Enterprises mission is all about.
“The exposure for us is being in front of all of the amazing Meijer shoppers. Now we are exposed to over 30,000 people per month that may not have been familiar with us before,” Ensign said.
Jennifer Fine, Food and Retail Director at Opportunity Enterprises, oversees the art department and Simply Amazing Market.
“I was hired in eleven years ago to teach how to make fudge. I loved it so much I stuck with it. From there we started making popcorn, then adding in the Bavarian glazed nuts,” Fine said.
Simply Amazing Market offers something a little sweeter than your typical shopping experience: When you make a purchase, you make a difference. All proceeds from the Market support adults and children with disabilities through employment, services, and enrichment programs.
“It’s motivating when you know you are helping people and get to watch them grow. They take pride when we sell a ceramic with their name on it, and that it’s in a store,” Fine said. “The mission behind OE is very close to my heart.”
Patricia Willett, an attendee with a cart full of goodies, spoke about the opening.
“This is an awesome idea and such a great opportunity for everyone to see what Opportunity Enterprises does,” Willett said.
The facility sits in the front portion of the Valparaiso Meijer where people checking out, entering, or exiting can clearly see the incredible display. The facility was brought to life by the experts at Chester Inc, who have worked alongside OE for many years.
Rich Shields, Business Development Manager at Chester Inc., spoke about the ever growing relationship they have with OE.
“We do a lot of work for Opportunity Enterprises directly, including many buildings in the past. We are happy to celebrate and be apart of this,” Shields said. “We always like to give back to the community and have always wanted OE to grow. They are doing a spectacular job and we like to be apart of their expansion.”
Simply Amazing Market is open seven days a week with flexible hours for any shopper: Monday through Friday 9AM-7PM, Friday 9AM-8PM, and Saturday & Sunday 10AM-6PM. If you are interested in a tasty treat for a cause, visit their brand new facility at Meijer in Valparaiso or order online at https://www.simplyamazingmarket.com/. For any further information about Opportunity Enterprises and their mission, visit https://www.oppent.org/.