By Nanthida Phuangthong
“60 Plus Café is part of the Asia-Pacific Development Centre on Disability [APDC] that provides training and career opportunities for Thais with autism,” he said.
APDC is a project under the royal patronage of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, and 60 Plus Café was established to commemorate her 60th birthday in 2015.
Sunthorn Nowarat, manager of APDC, said the training programme for autistic persons in the chocolate and coffee business was developed from a training course for the disabled pioneered by a chocolate shop in Kyoto, Japan.
“This training programme makes autistic persons happier, increasing their patience and ability to control their emotions,” he added.
According to Sunthorn, Mark Rin Chocolate is a product of APDC in collaboration with a private partner, which is an expert in cocoa and chocolate production and has helped provide the centre with knowledge, equipment and training.
Mark Rin Chocolate is made from IM1 cocoa, which is grown in Thailand. It was developed by Assoc Prof Sanh Laongsri, a pomology professor at Maejo University in Chiang Mai, he said.
60 Plus Bakery & Café welcomes persons aged between 18-55 years old with any type of autism. After three days of orientation, selected candidates are provided with a 100-day training course in bakery and coffee shop work, after which they can work at APDC’s café or partner coffee shops.