SMILE Biscotti is an entrepreneurial bakery business founded by Matt Resnik, following his graduation from high school in 2013. SMILE stands for Supporting My Independent Living Enterprise, and was created to help Matt and others like him, who are impacted by autism, make advancements in life skills development, social connections and pathways toward greater independence.
In 2016, SMILE welcomed Jon as a licensee and SMILE Biscotti DFW was created. To date, Matt, Jon and their coworkers have sold over 200,000 SMILE's. You can find them at several locations throughout the Phoenix and Dallas metro areas and across the U.S. Licensing opportunities are also being pursued in other markets.
SMILE started as a community effort, thanks to the support of the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC) and its Rising Entrepreneurs program. Now, Matt, Jon and many others like them are being afforded the opportunity to succeed.
IS CHANGING LIVES.
My name is Matt Resnik. I am a young adult with autism. After my high school graduation, I created SMILE Biscotti® so I could start supporting myself and and others with special abilities.
My name is Jon. I started SMILE Biscotti DFW to create employment opportunities for myself and others who are on the spectrum in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I enjoy baking because I like the order a recipe provides and like taking steps one by one. I also like work that involves motion like moving boxes, pushing heavy carts and delivering SMILE packages -- all perfect for me!
My name is Rachel. I'm the author of Growing Up with a Disability, which I plan to use in my quest to combat bullying in schools. I work hard, am a stellar egg cracker, and am learning how to shape and bake biscotti loaves independently.
My name is Slade. I am a high school student with autism. I joined Matt's SMILE Biscotti® team as an intern in 2015. I enjoy the quiet, predictable work atmosphere of biscotti labeling and packaging sessions. My role at SMILE has helped me to develop a structured schedule of community involvement as I transition to adult life.
My name is Eric. Matt and I met through SARRC's LibraryWorks program back in 2012. I was Matt's first co-worker and thoroughly mastered and helped to refine all aspects of our baking process. I attend community college and am working toward a degree in exercise science.
My name is Lauren. I specialize in labeling and packaging the biscotti, and always bring good sense of humor to the team. During SARRC's 15th Annual Community Breakfast, I received a standing ovation for my inspiring speech. In the future, I'd like to plan more special events.
My name is Amanda. I have another job where I work 30 hours weekly, but I like to help out the SMILE team when my schedule permits. A spirited SMILE supporter, I always bring lots of energy and enthusiasm to my work.
My name is Culley. I like measuring and weighing the ingredients, and the precision of our scales. An ace dishwasher, I'm also great at following directions and making sure others follow them, too. During breaks, I love to listen to music.
My name is Camilla. I enjoy packaging and placing SMILE stickers on products. While still in high school, I'm learning that work can be fun and a great opportunity to spend time with friends.
The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Leader in Adult Autism Award
The Arizona Republic's 35 Entrepreneurs 35