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Deputy makes scheduling and payroll easier than ever.

Jupiter, Florida
Small business

At a glance

  • Takes only 10 minutes to submit payroll
  • Employees consistently receive accurate payroll
  • Employees empowered through technology and ease of use

The Story

In 2010, Valerie Herskowitz, director of The Chocolate Spectrum, worked as a speech pathologist when she trained as a pastry chef and chocolatier. As she practiced chocolate making at home, her son with autism became fascinated with her new craft.

In 2013, after her son graduated from high school with no options for programs, they started making chocolate together for family members and close friends, turning the hobby into a small business called “The Chocolate Spectrum.” As more friends and community members became interested in buying their chocolate, an idea sparked for Valerie.

Other parents with children who had autism took an interest in how her son was involved and how he was developing more independence as part of the business. They asked to be a part of it. And out of her home kitchen, she began working with other adults as well. Eventually, Valerie hired some of them and in 2016, found a brick-and-mortar location.

The Chocolate Spectrum now operates as a social enterprise business in Jupiter, Florida, with a retail shop and apprenticeship programs for teens and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.

“It wasn’t just about the chocolate or making chocolate. It was about getting experience in real-life business. That could help them be ahead of the curve because the unemployment rate in this population is significant - over 90%.”

The Chocolate Spectrum

The Challenge

After The Chocolate Spectrum opened, Valerie used pen and paper to schedule her staff, alongside her administrative assistant. When it came to payroll, times were added up via a calculator, and paychecks were written out.

Valerie wanted to make her employees more independent since The Chocolate Spectrum focuses on helping adults with autism learn social communication, customer service, and showing up on time. And knowing when they were on the clock was important too. With Valerie's original way of scheduling, some employees would arrive over half an hour early for their shift.

“The biggest thing that catapulted me into wanting to use a platform instead was that our employees are adults and they have autism. And people who have autism often times have organizational problems. So scheduling had become an issue.”

The Chocolate Spectrum

The Solution

Using an electronic platform was a match for Valerie’s employees. After exploring a few workplace software solutions, Valerie came across Deputy on a Google search. She test drove the app with her employees, and they loved it.

Tracking when employees clocked in and out used to be challenging for Valerie’s employees. Now, it’s so intuitive.

“For some reason, nobody has trouble remembering to log in and log out. With Deputy, it became very natural for them.”

When it comes to back-office admin, instead of spending a lot of time trying to add up employees’ hours, payroll only takes Valerie 10 minutes to complete.

“I can literally do it sitting in front of the T.V.”

Like so many workplaces, when The Chocolate Spectrum was scheduling the old way, it took multiple weekly emails to notify employees when they were working. Today, it’s just an automated text away. And employees no longer have to worry about checking their emails or remembering their login information for timesheets. Both are in the same place.

“This has just made [my employees] so much more independent, and it frees up my time so much more to the point where I don’t need any assistance from somebody else to do it. I can’t even imagine a person who owns a small business with employees not having something like Deputy.”

The Chocolate Spectrum
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