“Cornucopia helps people with disabilities achieve successful integration into the workplace.”
This mission statement very simply states Cornucopia’s primary focus; helping people with serious disabilities to secure their place within the workforce by developing work skills leading to employment and by providing job placement assistance and support services.
Cornucopia, Inc. is a nonprofit organization founded in Lakewood in 1975 that operates Nature’s Bin, a service natural foods market located in Lakewood, Ohio. This natural foods market serves as training site for a unique and successful program that provides vocational training leading to employment for people with disabilities. What distinguishes Nature’s Bin from other training facilities is the real-work learning environment. Trainees work side-by-side with staff members in all aspects of retail service, facing the challenges and rewards of competitive employment in a caring, supportive atmosphere.
Cornucopia’s first and most enduring project was “The Bin”, a small fresh produce market. An average of 12 people with mental retardation trained there each year.
The Bin later grew into what is now called Nature’s Bin. Nature’s Bin was developed to expand on the successful model of integrated training and retail sales, and to create a more flexible and responsive training program. Nature’s Bin opened in Lakewood in November 1991, and began providing work skills training 45 individuals per year in this larger more complete facility.
Since then, Cornucopia has grown beyond exclusively serving people with mental retardation, to a broad-based program promoting self-sufficiency for people with a range of disabilities including mental retardation, developmental disabilities, mental illness, and injuries resulting from accident or illness.
Cornucopia now also provides work adjustment training at Eliza Jennings Home in Cleveland’s east side, as well as Target in University Heights.
In addition to the work adjustment training programs at these locations, Cornucopia operates “Cornucopia Employment Services,” providing job placement and job coaching services for people with severe disabilities.