Luv Michael Co.
A healthy snack made with a lot of love. Luv Michael Co., a non-profit that produces organic, gluten-free granola, now has its first high-capacity commercial kitchen and retail kiosk (42 Walker St, Tribeca) that is being used to help young people with autism pursue their culinary dreams. The company was founded by Dr. Lisa Liberatore when her autistic son, Michael, could no longer work after the age of eighteen and she wanted to create a place where he and others with autism could be trained, educated and have a real job working in the culinary field. Dr. Liberatore says Luv Michael’s mission has always been to “provide a meaningful culinary vocation for the Autistic population and to produce exceptional gluten-free and natural products.” The 3,000 foot state-of-the-art commercial space is being used to train the “granologists” who will work and train five days a week until they are prepped to take part in the manufacturing process. A 5-point curriculum, developed in cooperation with autism education and culinary specialists and based, in part, on the New York State food handler’s license exam. Luv Michel Co. currently employs 10 ‘granologists’, providing fresh granola to Starbucks, Fresh & Co., D’Agostino Supermarkets, Gristedes Neighborhood Grocers, Wild by Nature, as well as over 60 other retailers in the greater New York City area.
- Thomas Rafael