By Mike Anderson

Baking for a living is not for the faint of heart. It’s a physically demanding job that requires long hours.

But don’t tell that to Keswick’s Courtney Pinchin.

The twenty-seven-year-old is all smiles after landing her first-ever job at Moetarts, a micro-bakery located at 132 High St. in Sutton that sells gourmet butter tarts and cookies.

That’s because Courtney, who has a developmental disability, struggled for months to find an employer who would give her an opportunity.

Her mother, Tracey Hale, approached more than a dozen local businesses and organizations during the summer, hoping to find a paid or volunteer position for her daughter.

But no one was willing to accommodate Courtney, even though she is considered high functioning.

They were about to give up.

But then, in September, while picking up her order of butter tarts, Tracey asked Moetart’s owner Maureen (Moe) Beggs if she needed some help in the shop.

Maureen, often working long hours, up to six days a week, said yes.

She agreed to take on Courtney for a trial period to see if it was a good fit for them.

Courtney would work for free, but Maureen and her husband Rob would provide training and a job reference.

Flash forward four months later, and Courtney works two to three days a week at the bakery.

According to Maureen, she’s become indispensable, so much so she calls her “hands.”

“Maureen has a little bit of arthritis, so Courtney is doing a lot of the fine stuff for her. Helping her do the pastry, put the boxes together, and prepare the ingredients. She also does the dishes, sweeps up and helps with customers,” Tracey said.

“She loves working for Maureen. She adores her. They’re like two peas in a pod. Some days I come in, and they’re killing themselves laughing.”

Courtney getting butter tarts ready for sale

“I love working with Maureen. She’s the best,” Courtney said.

“I’ve been learning a lot. And I just like spending time with her and interacting with the people who come into the shop.”

“The job has improved her confidence. And It has changed her outlook,” adds her mother.

“Everyone wants to do something meaningful, to contribute in some way. And that’s what it’s given her.”

Maureen and Rob are delighted the arrangement has worked out.

“She came here for an opportunity to get work experience. And It just bloomed. It’s become a win-win situation,” Maureen said.

“She’s not only my hands. She’s made her way into our hearts.”

“Her mom says we’ve changed her life. But the truth is she’s changing ours,” Rob added.

“She has such a positive outlook on life and people; it just rubs off on you.”

Thanks to Maureen and Rob, Courtney is now learning transferable skills, like processing credit and debit payments, that could help her gain full-time employment.

She has also caught the entrepreneurial spirit, baking her own artisanal dog biscuits, which she now sells at Moetarts.

Tracey is grateful to Maureen and Rob for allowing Courtney to work at their bakery.

“People with developmental disabilities need someone to give them a chance. Everybody is a little bit different, but different is good. And everyone has something to offer this world,” she said.

“Courtney is so happy. When she goes to work, she says, ‘mom, it’s not like it’s a job. I love it!'”



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