Sweethearts Award presented on Wednesday, February 27, 2019

On behalf of the Palo Alto CAC, we would like to award Ada’s Café and its founder, Kathleen Foley-Hughes, as well as her accomplished staff for their continued mission to provide meaningful vocational opportunities to adults and students with challenges.  This labor of love produces high quality nutritious food for our community; professionally baked, crafted, and served by people with disabilities.

Since 2003, Kathleen Foley-Hughes has enriched the lives of numerous special education students in Palo Alto and beyond.  She is the founder of two vocational food service programs for differently abled students, teaching them useful skills in food preparation, customer service, money handling, and teamwork on the school campus.

These coffee and smoothie carts provided an inclusive environment where students with different challenges can become valued members of their school life and community.

And it did not stop there. Kathleen forged ahead to open Ada’s Cafe and Catering – a shining example of how these skills can be translated into purpose and value for differently abled adults learning to live independently.  

“I like to work at Ada’s Cafe,” says one of her student interns, “because all the people are really nice to me and kind… I think Kathleen is really nice because she taught me how to read a recipe and make cookies.” “Kathleen was very passionate and knowledgeable about teaching people with disabilities real life skills in order to help them become thriving and productive members of society” said this student’s parent. “Kathleen would go out of her way to pick her up from school and made her feel special and included in every way. “

Kathleen is a model advocate for people with disabilities, and is making a real difference in our community through Ada’s Cafe.

We thank Ms. Foley-Hughes for her vision and for making these job experiences possible for our special education students and adults in our community.

To all of the wonderful staff working at Ada’s Café we say bravo and thank you for welcoming us with a smile and a delicious scone every morning!