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Mayor Mac Café Trains Special Needs Students for Workforce

By Nicky Miller

In October, Woodbridge, NJ mayor John E. McCormac and township officials, gathered at the newly renovated Cypress Recreation Center for the grand opening of Mayor Mac Café. They welcomed guests and students from R.I.S.E (Reaching Individual Student Excellence), part of Woodbridge Township School District’s special services program. The café, housed inside the Cypress Recreation Center, is unique. It was designed to train young adults with special needs for careers in the food service industry while serving as a place for the public to purchase food during activities at the center. The students learn cooking and customer service skills, while earning a wage for their hard work.

Breakfast and lunch is served Monday through Friday 11:00am to 2:00 pm. The menu includes gourmet grilled cheese, french fries, burgers, and more. The center is located at 881 West Avenue, Port Reading, NJ 07064.

This venture was made possible in part by a $45,000 grant from Kessler Foundation. The Foundation believes that all people with disabilities have a right to pursue competitive-integrated employment, and live with dignity within their communities. Learn more about how Kessler Foundation focuses its grantmaking on expanding employment opportunities for people with disabilities, check out our Center for Grantmaking.

Earlier this year, Kessler Foundation staff members Nicky Miller and Cassandra Bollinger, were invited to tour the facilities. Below are photos from their visit.


Photo of French fries and workers standing in background

Students and staff serving up food staples at Mayor Mac Cafe. 

Student taking food order from patrons at Mayor Mac Cafe


Chef and student cooking food


Group shout with mayor, students and Kessler Foundation staff

Photo credit: Mayor Mac Cafe Photographer 

Cassandra Bollinger and Nicky Miller, seen with students and staff at Mayor Mac Cafe. 
Student taking order from Mayor Mac Cafe


Photo of grill cheese sandwich

Grilled cheese sandwich is one of the items on the menu. 

Photo of Cassie Bollinger standing with Mayor John McCormac

Cassandra Bollinger and mayor John E. McCormac at the Cypress Recreation Center in Woodbridge, NJ

Photo of food and people cooking in background


Group shot with students and Kessler Foundation staff

Photo credit: Mayor Mac Cafe photographer 

Nicky Miller and Cassandra Bollinger with students in training at Mayor Mac Cafe.