Gabi & Jules

Lisa Beecroft, Owner
Co-Chair, Presidents Group

Accessibility Leadership

Lisa Beecroft is the Co-Owner, with her husband Patrick, of Gabi & Jules Handmade Pies and Baked Goodness as well as Caffe Divano, which operates cafes in Coquitlam, Port Moody and Burnaby. In 2016, they opened Gabi & Jules in Port Moody which was named for their two daughters, Gabriela & Juliana.

Inspired by the fact that Juliana has autism, they committed to creating an inclusive work environment at the bakery. Building on their mission to be an accessible employer, prior to COVID 30% of their team at the bakery were individuals on the autism spectrum. As the bakery has been rebuilding and adapting to the challenges posed by COVID, inclusion continues to be central to their hiring practices.

Our Organization

Who We Are

Gabi & Jules creates the exceptional pies and baked goods in our bakery in Port Moody and bake for the Caffe Divano in Burnaby, Port Moody and Coquitlam as well. We do all of our baking in a collaborative environment, inclusive of individuals of all abilities.

Why We Are Involved

Gabi & Jules is named after our daughters – Gabriela and Juliana. The desire to create an inclusive environment was motivated by the fact that our eldest daughter, Juliana, has autism. We want Gabi & Jules to create opportunities for individuals with autism and diverse abilities and be a place of belonging and inclusivity.

Distinction and Awards

  • 2020: BC Business’ Business for Good Inclusivity award
  • 2019- Chamber Member of the Year, Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce
  • 2019 – Inclusive Employer of the Year, Employment Roundtable of the Tri-Cities
  • 2019 – Spike Award for Inclusive Excellence, City of Port Moody Business Excellence Award
  • 2019: Shortlisted – Autism BC British Columbia Excellence in Autism Awards
  • 2016: Peter Hulbert Accessibility Award, City of Port Moody’s Civic Awards
  • Nominated: Best Community Impact, Small Business BC Awards

Accessibility Initiatives

  • We are committed to looking at all aspects of our organization to ensure that there are an array of opportunities for people with diverse abilities, specifically individuals on the autism spectrum.

Accessibility Highlights

  • Able to break out specialized tasks such as delivery driving and box building, and employ individuals who would excel at, and enjoy, these roles.
  • Many of the specialized tasks required part time hours, and there are individuals on the autism spectrum who prefer to work part time. This contributed to low turnover because we were meeting people’s preferences for working hours.
  • The accommodations we made did not require more financial resources, but rather simple changes in our operations. For example, by doing deliveries at a non-peak time in the cafe, anxiety was no longer a barrier for our delivery driver.
  • Having a diverse team has really impacted our culture in a positive way. Our team is excited to come to work and interact with one another.