HOUMA, La. -- If you love Cajun pepper jelly and salsa, then you might recognize the Houma Grown brand at one of your local grocery stores.
Houma Grown is a business division of Terrebonne Arc, which provides services for people with developmental disabilities with a day job.
"It is hard work. All of our individuals know exactly what their job is and what they need to do in order for the salsas and the pepper jellies to be prepared that day," says one of the Houma Grown managers, Vicky Rivet.
Behind the scenes, we find one of the seven employees, Tanya Henthorn, hard at work.
She's squishing the tomatoes, which is one of multiple tasks that are on the agenda for the day.
Other work stations include cleaning jars and labeling them for delivery.
"Squishing is like a release of my anxiety, and it helps me relax," says Houma Grown employee, Tanya Henthorn.
What's a days work without a little friendly competition?
Tanya teases that she is the champion at squishing.
"I finish first, usually. Sometimes, even if I start late, I finish first," says Tanya.
"They put their heart and soul into this and they love it. They love what they do, they love the product, they love to deliver the product out into the community. You can tell how proud they are," says Vicky.
These Houma Grown products include mild, medium, and hot salsas as well as five specially flavored pepper jellies.
They are delivered to 24 locations in southeast Louisiana, including eight Rouses locations in the New Orleans area.
"One of my favorite things to do is help deliver the products to the stores," explains Tanya.
"We call this our happy place, you know, because it really is. This is what we are meant to be doing, to help these individuals live a meaningful life and have a meaningful workday," says Vicky.
For more information on Houma Grown, the division of TARC, click here.