The Sweetest Social Enterprise in Town Is Super Duper

Sitting around the dinner table listening to anecdotes from Ellie’s day at work, the Crosland family would laugh and cry at her joyful and sometimes heart-rending experiences as the program assistant for a nonprofit that helps adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD).

Ellie has always had a heart and a talent for connecting with people with IDD and once mused that someday she’d like to open a bakery that employs them. 

Her father, Ben Crosland, considered the idea and, three years later, opened Super Duper Cookie Co., a social enterprise that employs adults with IDD to operate the gourmet cookie shop located in University Park, directly across from SMU.

Establishing Super Duper, a nonprofit commercial entity, required much thought and finding the right partners to make it work. Ben’s experience as a businessman and as executive director of the Sapphire Foundation plus Ellie’s experience working in the IDD community were perfectly suited for the endeavor.

The result is a feel-good, taste-good business where adults with IDD gain employment skills they can use forever.

Ben’s enthusiasm for the disco-themed social enterprise is palpable. 

“We believe that everyone can be super-duper at their level of ability if they just have the opportunity,” he said. “Our IDD staff, whom we refer to as Boogie Guides, have dreams, interests, and take pride in their work. They also contribute to every aspect of our business, from working the register to baking, decorating the cookies, and even janitorial services.” 

Christian, a Boogie Guide (BG) in his mid-20s and loves working and helping people, his father told me. 

“Working at Super Duper with the support of Ellie and the rest of the staff provides a range of new experiences for him,” the dad added. “Every customer and interaction is different. This is an opportunity for Christian to learn about and navigate the real world.”

Ellie Crosland’s role at Super Duper is “inclusion liaison,” meaning she works directly with the BGs to help them throughout the day to complete their job responsibilities. They are coached, mentored, reviewed, paid, and promoted just as any employee at any company. In addition to BGs, there are a handful of neurotypical staff members who staff the shop in the evenings and serve as managers on duty throughout the day.

The cookies are, in fact, super-duper. Recipes were created by local award-winning pastry chefs and include classics and creative riffs on standard flavors. The Cina-Doodle is snickerdoodle with extra cinnamon, Chocolate Thunder is a chocolate chocolate chip wonder, and Butterscotch is a sugar cookie base with caramelly chips throughout. There is one vegan, gluten-free cookie: chocolate chip.

For now, there is only one storefront, but there’s a Super Duper Cookie Truck that can come to events, schools, office buildings, and sporting events. Ben hopes to expand this concept and help normalize having IDD employees, rather than that being the exception.

It feels right to support a company with the motto “Be Kind, Be Inclusive, Be Super Duper,” so let’s do it.

Kersten Rettig, a freelance writer with leadership experience in the food and travel industries, lives in the Park Cities, where she is known as “the restaurant sherpa” for her recommendations. Follow her on Instagram @KerstenEats. 

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Kersten Rettig

Kersten Rettig is the only DFW Food/Travel writer with luxury hospitality leadership experience and a former restaurant owner, employee, and chief marketing officer. Kersten's worked on the inside and has the insight and experience to tell the stories to the outside. She's a Park Cities resident, mom, wife and a decent cook. Follow her on Instagram @KerstenEats.

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