– About Lee & Marie’s Cakery –
Lee & Marie’s Cakery, a dynamic bakery/cafe hybrid or “cakery,” dishes up delicious baked goods, sandwiches, salads and other mouthwatering delights. Located at 40 South Pointe Drive on South Beach, the indoor/outdoor 50 seat cafe is the brainchild of social entrepreneur and philanthropist, owner Andrea “Andy” Travaglia.
Named to honor the recipes of Travaglia’s daughters’ grandmothers, the quaint, homey shop serves breakfast and lunch daily, with a menu of freshly made items including a roster of scrumptious cakes, cookies and confections, which changes day-to-day based on the availability of local ingredients. Everything is made from scratch in L&M’s production kitchen, housed in the heart of the Wynwood Arts District.
– A Unique Mission –
Lee & Marie’s was conceived with two missions: firstly, to create a much needed neighborhood bakery that offered a creative and delectable twist on American bakery classics.
The second and most important mission embraces a cause close to Andy Travaglia’s heart, providing support and employment to adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In tandem with the University of Miami/Nova Southeastern University’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, Lee & Marie’s provides employment opportunities for autistic adults, helping to guide them on a path to greater independence and an enhanced quality of life.
According to Andrea Travaglia, “Everyone seems to know someone affected by autism – it affects one in 88 children; and actually one in 54 boys. It is the fastest growing, serious developmental disability in the U.S.” Unfortunately, once an autistic youth reaches adulthood, their treatments are reduced drastically and they “age out of the system”. The uncertainty of their future, coupled with the 90% unemployment rate in the community, has motivated Travaglia in creating businesses that not only employ these individuals but also help nurture them through adulthood. “Opening the bakery has given me the opportunity to educate my customers, employees and industry leaders on the many benefits of hiring adults with autism. They are extremely diligent, creative, and genuinely thankful for the opportunity to work. Collaborating firsthand with ‘our adults’ has given my business a unique insight into their world!”