Brownies and Downies FTB Story

Brownies and DowniesFocus Trust Believe is all about joining the dots, linking one idea with a notion and a gut instinct and going with it. FTB is about following a passion making a decision, taking a chance and making it happen. Such is the case with Wade and Wendy from the new emerging company Brownies and Downies.

Q. This is a very out of the box idea exactly what FTB is all about, please tell us how this dream and vision became a reality.
A. Wendy initially brought the concept in a broader sense from the Netherlands where Brownies And Downies operates as a fully licensed franchise and restaurant chain – fully supported by the government. Because of various reasons, Wendy’s vision was opening a Brownies And Downies that was focused as a training center and a launching platform in which she could educate the public, business, and actually fulfill placement and integration of special-needs adults as fully paid employees to bring about meaningful social change. She met me (Wade) in 2015, asked me to come on board, and the rest is history!

Q. What is your background and how it’s contributed to making B&D such a success?
A. Wendy has a background in social work, and has focused nearly exclusively on adults and children with intellectual disabilities. She has also worked in hospitality for most of her life, and has a die-hard attitude. My background (Wade) is in business and entrepreneurship, I have an eye for detail – both creatively and practically, and I’ve always believed that businesses are able to help people to solve and surpass their social issues. We are both Christians, and believe that God brought us together in a very specific time for this purpose – as we had many other opportunities to connect before we did!

Brownies and DowniesQ. How long has this initiative been running for?
A. We started the application process in 2015 to get registered as an NPO & PBO, opened our doors on 8 February 2016, and have been running successfully since.

Q. What exactly is B&D trying to achieve?
A. We want to influence the lives of people with intellectual disabilities – more specifically their successful appointment into employment, the education and conditioning of business and their employees to ready them for colleagues with special needs, and educating and making aware the public.

Q. What FTB or B&D success stories can you share with us?
A. Kevin, Lynette and Jody are our first trainees that we placed into employment at the end of 2016. Spar Western Cape have partnered with us from the beginning and will be taking 7 more graduates from the program in May of 2017. We are currently in talks with corporate groups in order to increase our placement rate.
People have also accepted our shop and the concept with open arms, and have been eager to support where possible. It’s also encouraging to hear how people talk about the concept, and show just how much support, encouragement and love they have for the special needs trainees!

Q. What is your dream/vision for B&D?
A. To expand into all of South Africa…and then Africa! We want to open non-profit training centers in each major province in South Africa, and also fully operational cafés that will also employ trained young adults from our training centers!

Brownies and Downies

Brownies and Downies

Brownies and Downies