VIDEO– Grocer Hires Deaf Cake Decorator Who Dreams of Opening Bakery: ‘A Blessing to All She Meets’

Boy looking at cakes - stock photo
Johner Images/Getty Images, File

A grocery store in Ruston, Louisiana, recently added a deaf person to its team and she has exceeded all expectations.

Tanisha “NeNe” Vernon-Vergara stepped into her role as a cake decorator at Ruston Groceries in early August, KNOE reported Wednesday, adding her dream is to open a bakery of her own in the future.

A photo showed the beaming team member outside the store wearing a name tag that let customers know she was deaf:

A coach had trained NeNe through a partnership with the Louisiana School for the Deaf and another grocer in high school.

According to Ruston Groceries owner Laddie Aulakh, the business had been searching for someone to decorate cakes for several months.

He set up an interview after her husband Josh Vergara, who is hard of hearing, said he should consider NeNe for the job.

The interview was done over text messages while the owner and NeNe were in the same room, and her husband helped with the process.

“She said, ‘I want to get back into the game’ because she really wanted to follow her dream. And so that’s really what she wanted to do, and I want to support her in that and encourage her every day. So, my job is to make sure that she’s happy,” Vergara told KNOE:

Finally, CAPTIONED video is here! KNOE 8 TV (Monroe, LA) news broadcasted this interview on the 10 pm newscast featuring…

Posted by Josh Vergara on Wednesday, August 31, 2022

According to Vergara, NeNe has had difficulty finding a job. However, those days are over.

He said, “But today’s accessibility is, you know, I think we just really want to try and be included and have the equal access and be able to have what other ‘hearing’ people have.”

In a social media post on Saturday, Ruston Groceries described NeNe’s story as inspiring and motivating, “but most of all our NeNe is a blessing to all she meets and who meets her,” it said:

Our NeNe’s story is inspiring, it’s motivating, it heart tugging but most of all our NeNe is a blessing to all she meets…

Posted by Ruston Groceries on Saturday, August 27, 2022

“She’s overcome so many obstacles to get her to where she’s at today….and we are so very proud to say she is a big part of the Ruston Groceries family!”


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