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Cookie Co. Helps Those in Recovery

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A new cookie company in Rochester is offering more than just baked goods, but also jobs for people recovering from mental illness and chemical dependency.

On Monday, November 12th, Darn Good Cookie Company opened its doors at 982 Monroe Avenue. The business was created to help clients at the local non-profit, East House, learn specific job skills.

Greg Soehner is the President of East House. He said it’s been difficult for those in recovery with mental illness or chemical dependency to get employment the last few years because of the economy.

"But historically it's been very difficult because there's a lot of stigma and discrimination against people who either have a mental illness or are recovering from an addiction," Soehner said.

"Sometimes employers unintentionally I think discriminate against people who may have been hospitalized or imprisoned because of their illnesses," added Soehner.

He said employees will learn skills often taken for granted such as showing up on time and working cooperatively with bosses and colleagues.

In addition, Soehner said they'll learn a specific task in the business such as baking, packaging, marketing and accounting among others.

Soehner said employment is a key factor for a successful recovery. The goal is for workers to eventually get full-time jobs with area companies after six to nine months of employment with Darn Good Cookie Company.

East House has been in Rochester for nearly 50 years helping people recover from mental illnesses and chemical dependencies.