Developmentally Disabled Workers Give Deli Owner ‘Incredible Amount Of Joy’

CHICAGO (CBS) — A deli in the Lakeview neighborhood stands out not just for what’s on the menu, but who is working behind the counters.

At Milt’s Extra Innings, customers leave with a full belly and a full heart.

Zahava Auerbach never thought she’d be able to find work. Now the 21-year-old is living out a dream; hired to run the cash register at Milt’s Extra Innings, a baseball-themed deli in Lakeview.

Auerbach said she’s excited “that I can be out of the house; I can meet new people.”

Jeff Aeder and his niece, Zahava. (Photo: Lisa Fielding/WBBM)

Nearly every employee at the kosher deli has special needs.

Auerbach’s uncle, real estate developer Jeff Aeder founded the restaurant after learning more than 80 percent of people with a disability in the U.S. are unemployed.

“To see my employees, and see them happy, and see them fulfilled, it gives me an incredible amount of joy. So I spend as much time as I can here,” he said.

Milt’s Extra Innings is located at 3409 N Broadway St. (Photo: Lisa Fielding/WBBM)

The restaurant isn’t only helping these workers. All of the profits go to the charity Keshet, which assists people with disabilities around the world.

Customers say they get to enjoy delicious cuisine while supporting a great cause.

“The whole environment is great. The people are great, and it’s just a great experience for us. We’re here probably two to three times a week,” David Harris said.

Auerbach said she’s grateful to be a part of the professional world.

Though she’s getting a first paycheck for the first time in her life, Auerbach said she’s not saving up for anything special.

“Not right now, honestly. I’m just hoping that I can get more paychecks and just be happy,” she said.

Milt’s mission is to provide a place for convenient, delicious food that offers people with intellectual and developmental disabilities meaningful employment. (Photo: Lisa Fielding/WBBM)

Milt’s Extra Innings serves, delivers and caters. There are no trans-fats or MSG used in their food.

The space also showcases Aeder’s love for baseball with displays of his own Jewish baseball memorabilia.

“I named the restaurant in honor of my uncle Miltie. We are located near Wrigley Field. I’m a huge Cubs fan and baseball fan. I have the largest collection of Jewish baseball memorabilia in the world, so I combined the place with another passion. There have been 170 Jews who have played in the Major Leagues, and the whole history is told on the walls of Milt’s Extra Innings. So it’s a nice play on Wrigley and the motif and on another one of my hobbies,” he laughed.

Milt’s Extra Innings is open from 11 a.m to 7 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays.

“Celebrating the history of Jews in Baseball adds to the conversation.” (Photo: Lisa Fielding/WBBM)

This site uses cookies, tokens, and other third party scripts to recognize visitors of our sites and services, remember your settings and privacy choices, and — depending on your settings and privacy choices — enable us and some key partners to collect information about you so that we can improve our services and deliver relevant ads.

By continuing to use our site or clicking Agree, you agree that CBS and our key partners may collect data and use cookies for personalized ads and other purposes, as described more fully in our privacy policy. You can change your settings at any time by clicking Manage Settings.