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Melly's is a registered Canadian charity and not-for-profit Workplace, Café and Market.
Here, we implement Melly's Interactive Development Program, designed for teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities preparing to pursue employment.

Our comprehensive curriculum includes 16 modules focused on workplace skills and 16 pillars dedicated to personal development, laying the foundation for participants to enter the workforce.

The program unfolds within our café and market, allowing participants to immediately apply learned skills in authentic interactions with community members, fostering confidence and providing personalized support as they progress toward their objectives.

Beyond skill development, Melly's emphasizes creating opportunities for participants to forge friendships, establish connections, and engage with their communities through various activities and events.

Charitable registration: 83808 1552 RR0001

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  • Experiential Learning Opportunities: Our café and market offer hundreds of customizable activities, tailored to meet individual learning preferences.
  • Empowering Advocacy and Independence: We foster an environment where individuals are supported in cultivating skills that enhance independence at work, in life, and within their homes.
  • Work Experience: Gain hands-on customer service and retail skills in a Café + Market environment, guided by a supportive, one-on-one coaching approach.
  • Fostering Connection: Build community and friendships through our engaging social and team-building events.
  • Secure Learning Space: Progress and develop at your own pace within a supportive and inclusive environment.

Melly's Interactive Development Program is a comprehensive training initiative with 16 modules on Workplace Training (Teamwork, WHMIS, Kitchen Training, Merchandising, Communication, Personal Security, Health, Food and Beverage Preparation, Point of Sale, Safety, Product Knowledge, Cleaning, Customer Service, Personal Hygiene, Food Safety and Sales) and 16 pillars dedicated to Personal Development (Independence/Agency, Respect, Workplace Behaviour, Self-Advocacy, Conflict Resolution, Adapting to Change, Reliability, Time Management, Taking Initiative, Critical Thinking, Constructive Criticism, Boundaries, Efficiency, Leadership, Accountability and Work Ethic).

To create an immersive learning experience, we deliver lessons within a real cafe and market that mirror participants' future workplaces.
This approach builds confidence, develops skills, and ensures a confident transfer of skills and abilities into their next workplace.What sets our program apart is the depth of our approach. We have carefully designed over 100 activities, each connected to a specific module or pillar, which can be customized to meet each participant's learning and comprehension needs.

These activities are facilitated by experienced coaches who possess extensive leadership backgrounds in customer-facing roles. Our coaches have firsthand knowledge of the qualities necessary to excel in the workplace, having progressed from entry-level positions themselves.

We are currently accepting applicants to our program for a May and June start. 




Megan brings a dynamic fusion of experience to the table, combining her tenure as a Teaching Assistant with six years of expertise in the coffee industry's training and supervisory roles.
Her ability to tailor coaching to individual needs readies participants for today's workplace challenges.

Currently pursuing a Master's in Critical Sociology, Megan enriches her coaching with insights into societal dynamics and critical thinking.
Her mix of real-world experience and innovative strategies provides a well-rounded program that boosts participants' confidence and skills for navigating the modern employment landscape.


Mackenzie melds significant hands-on leadership experience in the retail and food service industries with a deep commitment to empowering marginalized communities, including adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
As she advances her education with a Master's degree in Psychology, her coaching uniquely incorporates elements of self-care, resilience, and self-awareness.

This diverse expertise and a decade of dedicated service form the foundation of her empathetic, informed approach. Her strategy ensures that individuals not only acquire valuable workplace skills but also emerge from the program feeling more confident and capable of navigating life's challenges.


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Destiny blends her extensive experience in disability support and leadership in retail and food service to deliver transformative educational experiences.
Her innovative teaching strategies not only inform but also build crucial skills such as independence and self-advocacy.

Destiny customizes her approach to meet individual needs, utilizing her therapeutic crisis intervention skills to enhance problem-solving and critical thinking. Her commitment to therapeutic practices offers a well-rounded perspective, perfectly suited to the modern workplace.
This approach ensures participants are well-prepared to confidently pursue both personal and professional success.


Join Us!
  • Weekly Engagement: Participants engage in three dynamic sessions each week, with each session spanning 3 hours. These sessions are designed to reflect the varied pace of a real work environment, offering a realistic glimpse into workplace dynamics.

    Hands-On Retail Experience: The program includes immersive retail training within a Café + Market setting, where participants receive expert coaching to hone their retail skills in a practical context.

    Social and Team Building: Including social events and team-building activities to foster interpersonal connections and enhance teamwork capabilities is integral to the program.

    Session Perks: Each session comes with the bonus of a complimentary café drink, enriching the learning experience with a taste of the café culture.

    Coffee Bucks Reward System: Achievement within the program is rewarded with Coffee Bucks, a unique currency that participants can spend within the café and market, reinforcing the value of their accomplishments.

    Career Development: Tailored career planning sessions are a key component, assisting participants in mapping out and pursuing their professional aspirations.

    Community Connections: The program promotes community inclusion within the Durham Region, offering participants the chance to expand their social networks and experience a sense of community belonging.

    Peer Mentoring: The value of peer mentorship is recognized, with participants benefiting from the guidance and shared experiences of mentors committed to their support and growth.

    Rewards and Recognition: Progress and achievement are celebrated through awards and incentives, infusing the program with elements of fun and fostering friendships.

Flexible Payment Options: Choose from upfront payment or convenient payment plans. Additionally, this program may qualify as an eligible expense for government support services.


The program boasts a cutting-edge facility featuring a publicly accessible café, a fully-equipped kitchen, a dedicated development room, and a vibrant market space, offering real-time educational opportunities.


Our development program utilizes state-of-the-art equipment and tools to foster transferable skills, empowering individuals to discover new passions and talents


Our program emphasizes the importance of social engagement, hosting a variety of activities and events designed to nurture lasting friendships and community ties among graduates.


Celebrating All Abilities through creating experiences for all

Melly's Dream

Melanie is 33 and starts each morning with a cafe mocha.
She makes her breakfast and then goes about her day, doing a little cleaning, some yoga, watching tv and making more meals as required.
Her life also includes Down Syndrome.
She dreams of a life she sees her sister and brothers living; working, going places, and friends.
Right now, for many adults living with intellectual and developmental disabilities, it is only a dream.

We want to change that!


For more information, please reach out to :

Melly’s Workplace is a registered charity 83808 1552 RR0001

Melly’s Market + Café is a non-profit facility supporting the development and life experiences for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.