It’s a story that’s been written many times: Young entrepreneur uses an old family recipe to launch a successful business.
But this success story comes with a twist. Matt Resnik, a 23-year-old man with autism, is using his family’s biscotti recipe to build a bridge to independence.
“Matt loves music and one of his favorite songs is ‘Hey Jude,’ by the Beatles,” said Denise Resnik, Matt’s mother. “There’s the line in there that says, ‘Take a sad song and make it better.’ What Matt is doing with the biscotti is taking a challenging circumstance and making it better.”
Not only is Resnik making the most of his challenging circumstances, he’s turning SMILE Biscotti — the company name is an acronym for Supporting Matt’s Independent Living Enterprise — into a business success. He started off by selling his biscotti to friends and family members, then on Facebook. Now, he’s taken the business to the next level.
Bruce Mosby, president of Mosby and Company, Inc., recently began selling Matt’s SMILE Biscotti in his two Peet’s Coffee & Tea licensed stores, located at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport’s Terminal 4. Selling for a little more than a month, the biscotti is already a top-selling item.
“We believe in fostering a culture of prosperity, where we create exciting careers for our people, and thriving local communities,” Mosby said. “Our partnership with SMILE Biscotti is a great example of this value in action. And, its success is proof that our travelers believe in it, too.”
The collaboration with Mosby has even led to the launch of a new product, called SMILE Bites, a miniature version of the bigger biscotti snacks. Mosby suggested the product after noting the popularity of the small samples he gave away.
“When Matt was diagnosed 21 years ago at the age of 2, we were told to love him, accept him and plan to institutionalize him because there wasn’t hope for kids with autism,” Denise Resnik said. “To think that today Matt is an entrepreneur and creating a product that people like has exceeded our dreams for what Matt could do. It has given us all hope.”