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Gaithersburg baker opens small business despite learning differences

Hasan Cumberbatch is seeing success with his business, DJ The Baker.

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — A young man in Gaithersburg is helping us all get uplifted by showing us that passion can overcome obstacles. Hasan Cumberbatch didn't let his learning disability stop him from owning his own business.

Cumberbatch spent six months training at Sunflower Bakery. The bakery is the largest program in Maryland that trains young adults with young adults with learning differences in pastry arts and the hospitality industry. 

Now Cumberbatch is selling baked goods through his business DJ the Baker, alongside his former teachers at the Asbury Methodist Village Farmer's Market. The market supports Sunflower Bakery and eight other local businesses. 

"After I graduated from high school, I knew that college would have been a great challenge for me as a person with learning differences. As I loved cooking and baking, I enrolled in the program at Sunflower Bakery and successfully completed the Pastry Arts Employment Training Program, where I learned to make cookies, cakes, breads, and a variety of baked items. My little business gives me the opportunity to continue baking and improving my baked goods for people to enjoy. I bake cakes, loafs, scones, muffins, cupcakes, cookies and other goodies at home."

The folks at Sunflower Bakery say they are proud of their former student's accomplishments. 

"We are so proud of Hasan! To see a student grow through our program and then to have his own business is so inspiring," said Sara Milner, cofounder and director of student services at Sunflower Bakery.

For more information on the training program, click here.

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