Harry Specters: A Chocolatier That Employs Mostly Autistic Staff.
Harry Specters is a Cambridgeshire-based social enterprise that creates ethically-sourced, luxury chocolate – and is famous for employing mostly autistic staff.
The organisation was founded in 2012 by Mona Shah.
Like many parents of autistic children, Mona and her husband Shaz were constantly worrying about their son, Ash’s future. After speaking to other parents of other autistic children, they discovered that it was a shared worry.
Being a keen baker, Mona discovered the perfect way to combine her passion for creating positive change for autistic people – via her love for chocolate.
“We wanted to do something for Ash, and for others like him. We looked at some statistics, and we found that 85% of autistic people are unemployed, and 61% of them are desperate to work,” explained Mona.
Over the last decade, the social enterprise has won more than thirty five awards. Harry Specters has helped 300+ autistic people to improve their skills and confidence through free work experience, training, and paid employment. The organisation has also supported more than 155 parents and carers.
In 2021, Harry Specters produced nearly 750,000 chocolates, which provided 7,844 employment hours for 12 employees, and 267 free training and work experience hours for 13 young autistic people.
Prior to launching Harry Specters, Mona graduated with a degree in Business Administration, before working for the NHS as a Membership and Governance manager. Her husband Shaz was a senior digital design engineer for Samsung – before completing his MBA at Cranfield.
Find out more here: https://www.harryschocs.co.uk