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New Meridian candy shop hires people with special needs

The owner of Sweet Zola's Candy Shop is dedicated to providing job and skills training for people with special needs in our community.

MERIDIAN, Idaho — There’s a new candy shop opening up in Meridian this week, and it’s sweet in more ways than one.

It’s called Sweet Zola’s Candy Shop, the owner Cyndy Radovich has a goal to hire employees with special needs.

“I just want to be able to provide a new environment for them, I want them to feel welcomed and accepted the way they are”, says Radovich.

Sweet Zola's is named after Radovich's two-year-old daughter, Zola. The shop is tucked inside of Potter's Tea House on Main Street in Meridian. 

Radovich says she opened the store to provide jobs and skills training for the special needs community.

“I'm an autism consultant and specialist in the valley for the last 12 years, and my employees, they are all capable but some have gone out to get jobs and they just weren't successful in that," Radovich said. "So, I want to provide on the job training for them. I'm going to teach them, this is what we need to do and this is how we succeed.”

Julie McConnel is the mom of 3-year-old fraternal twin boys, Charlie and Milo. They both have Down syndrome. She says she's excited about such an inclusive idea.

“I want to support an organization that's working to employ people with disabilities, because that's a concern for these guys for their future, that they have employment and they are integrated into the community and have all the opportunities that any other child would have”, McConnel said.

Cyndy Radovich is passionate about providing just that. She’s hoping other business owners see what she is doing, and are inspired to do the same. She says she will even provide employees with free training.

“Let's create these job opportunities for these individuals so that they can succeed," she said. "Call me, I'll train you! Let's create these jobs.”

Sweet Zola’s Candy Shop is located at 917 N. Main Street in Meridian. It opens Monday, February 4th at 10 a.m. The grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting starts at 4:30 p.m. 

The public is invited!

You can also find Sweet Zola’s on Facebook and Instagram.

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