Inspiring Boise Small Business Receives HUGE Surprise on National TV
Boise’s Fairview Avenue is lined with dozens upon dozens of businesses. If you blink, you could miss one extra special that is doing a lot more than just satisfying the community’s sweet tooth! That business was recently featured on Good Morning America!
The business we’re talking about is Sweet Zola’s Candy Shop, a unique business founded by Cyndy Radovich. According to the candy shop’s website, Cyndy has a master’s degree in Autism Spectrum Disorders and has spent over 16 years working with individuals with developmental disabilities. The candy shop’s slogan is “Candy for Inclusion” and that’s what makes the business so special.
The store employs 26 employees with developmental disabilities, which helps them build on-the-job skills that one day they can use when they move on to other career fields in the Treasure Valley. The idea came to Cyndy while she was working as a therapist. One of her clients was excited to have landed his first job, only to lose that job within a few weeks. It broke her heart that he ended up with a company that didn’t understand some of the extra needs individuals with developmental disabilities have. She wanted there to be a place where kids like that could learn to excel on the job in an environment that would help foster their growth and make them feel valued.
So, Sweet Zola’s was born! The store opened in 2019 and it has overcome its share of challenges including the pandemic and Cyndy overcoming a pulmonary embolism that deflated part of her lung. In a video message to Sweet Zola’s followers, she said that she’s bounced back better than ever but it was a wake-up call that she couldn’t work as many hours as she was at her full-time job as a therapist and the candy shop.
Most of the time, the money that she made at her full-time job is what kept the candy shop afloat so having to take a step back has been tough. She’s spending her extra time on fundraising efforts for the shop, including introducing candy box subscriptions.
If you follow Sweet Zola’s on social media, you can see how special the shop is. If you’ve ever seen one of Cyndy’s employees out on Fairview with their Sweet Zola’s sign, they’ll brighten your day immediately. (They certainly do for us when we pass them on the way to our lash salon!) The store is an incredible resource for people with disabilities in our community which is why it was so awesome to see them featured on Good Morning America on May 16!
That visit ended in a HUGE surprise for Cyndy, Sweet Zola’s and all of the employees that love their jobs at the candy shop! If you weren’t able to watch, here’s what you missed!
Boise Business Profiled on Good Morning America