Events held at the 1st Summit Arena in Johnstown just got a little sweeter!
A small fudge company landed a deal with the arena and their treats will be sold at all events beginning in October.
Spectrum Fudge was created by a Johnstown native and offers employment opportunities to those with autism.
“It’s kind of a, not to sound corny, but it’s kind of a dream come true really.”
Roger Haney, the owner and operator of Spectrum Fudge, says he has a twelve-year-old son on the spectrum and created the company to help his son and others like him.
“Those on the spectrum have an unemployment rate of about eighty to eighty-five percent.”
In November, Haney began working on the small fudge company he bought and soon after he met his first hire, John Barner.
“Tell me how you feel to be working?”
“It’s amazing, like you’re literally doing real work out there instead of being in the background to something. You’re really doing something.”
“Sometimes people think that autistics can’t do much because they are made differently, but in true aspect, autistics can actually be very helpful.”
Barner says he studied culinary at Forbes CTC School and Bidwell Training Center before he started cooking for Spectrum Fudge.
“In the morning, we would sometimes cook, like the fudge, we have multiple cooks. And then as the day progresses on, we slowly go to packaging and cleaning a bit. And yes, cleaning is a part of my job.”
Haney says his company sells products other than fudge.
“We also have a confectionary line as well. Chocolate covered Oreos, pretzels, Rice Krispy treats, peanut butter cups, an assortment of other products.”
An official from the 1st Summit Arena says he’s glad to have a small business, like Spectrum Fudge, with a great mission, not only in the arena, but in Johnstown.
“Don’t look at people just because they’re autistic, think about the benefits that they can actually give you. Being on time, doing stuff right, something like that.”
Spectrum Fudge will be available to the to the public on October 1st, which is the Johnstown Tomahawks first game of the season.