Walk into Cristina’s Tortina Shop in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, and right away you’ll notice there’s something special.
It’s not just the lively pink-with-brown-polka-dots décor.
It’s not just the picture frames along the east wall that showcase the staff and their dreams.
It’s not just the stunning selection of scrumptious cupcakes (if you happen to get there before they’re sold out!).
What you’ll notice above all else is the atmosphere.
Because the people on both sides of the counter can’t help but be excited about what owner Mary Iusso and her daughter Cristina helped launch just a few short months ago.
When Cristina was born, doctors were surprised to discover she had Down syndrome. They approached Mary and her husband with a list of things she would not be able to do.
Fortunately, in the true spirit of Things that are Excellent, Cristina’s family instead chose to focus on what she could do.
This led, just a few years later, to the opening of Mary’s brainchild: a cupcakery that “creates equal employment opportunities for people with Down syndrome, Autism and other Special Needs.”
Cristina’s Tortina Shop is so much more than a place that makes and sells outstanding desserts.
It is a place that, as their tagline suggests, showcases capabilities.
There has been quite a buzz about the shop on local media, and the word is spreading. When I visited a couple of Sundays ago, Mary shared that they were getting emails from around the world.
In the early days, they donated leftovers to a local women’s shelter. But these days there aren’t any leftovers. Cristina’s now regularly sells out of cupcakes long before closing.
The cupcakes are incredibly good (the Cioccolata is Cristina’s favorite and mine too!), but you’ll want to make the trip just to see what a difference the right attitude can make.
For more of the story and a quick peek in the shop, enjoy this video:
Yes, Cristina’s Tortina Shop is doing more than just serving up delicious desserts. They’re changing the world, one cupcake at a time.
What is your favorite cupcake flavor?
Things that are Excellent is a regular feature that celebrates “what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable…things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8). If you have a feature idea or a guest post that you would like to submit, let us know in the comments below or email your ideas to: firstname.lastname@example.org