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Sweet Partners: Sugar Factory and Opportunity Village

Last updated: May 24, 2011 at 1:43 pm. Posted by in Caesars Entertainment, Charity, Las Vegas Casinos, Paris Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood Resort, Shopping. Comments Off on Sweet Partners: Sugar Factory and Opportunity Village.

How cool is the Sugar Factory? Here’s how cool.

Sugar Factory, with its newest location at Paris Las Vegas, and Opportunity Village, a nonprofit organization that serves people with intellectual disabilities, have forged a unique partnership that provides gainful employment to special needs individuals in Las Vegas.

Opportunity Village

Opportunity Village got its start in 1954.

When we first heard about this innovative partnership, we had to find out more, so this blog dropped by one of the Opportunity Village locations here in Vegas, its Ralph & Betty Engelstad Campus.

What we found were funny, warm people enthusiastically assembling Sugar Factory’s famed Couture Pops in a supportive, bustling environment we had no idea existed.

Opportunity Village

The first step in assembling a Sugar Factory Couture Pop.

Sugar Factory keeps about 30 individuals with intellectual disabilities busy and employed, each mastering steps along an assembly line with the goal of producing pops enjoyed by customers at Sugar Factory stores in Las Vegas.

Aside from the new Paris Vegas location, there are also Sugar Factory retail stores inside The Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood and in the Mirage.

Sugar Factory Opportunity Village

A well-oiled machine!

For such a seemingly simple product, the process of getting Couture Pops ready for store shelves is actually fairly complex. Handles are unpacked and painstakingly screwed into pop heads. (That may not be the technical term.) Boxes are scored and folded. Stickers denoting the pop flavors are carefully affixed.

The toughest step in the process is the assembly of the box interior thingy (definitely the technical term), which to our mind is akin to solving a Rubik’s cube. With a blindfold. However, the folks at Opportunity Village handle their various tasks with aplomb, taking care to inspect each item carefully. The pride in their work is obvious and truly inspirational.

Opportunity Village

Pops, pops everywhere.

The Sugar Factory’s partnership with Opportunity Village began in 2009, and the industrious candy-makers at Opportunity Village have assembled more than 10,000 of Sugar Factory’s rhinestone-encrusted lollipops.

The Sugar Factory’s signature Couture Pops have become a designer accessory worn on red carpets around the country and have been touted by celebrities like Kim Kardashian, the Pussycat Dolls and Britney Spears.

Opportunity Village

The Opportunity Village facility is massive, but the hearts inside are even bigger.

Another interesting fact we discovered at the Opportunity Village vocational center: Opportunity Village clients also assemble in-room condiment and coffee packets distributed to Caesars Entertainment hotels in Las Vegas and across the U.S. (see below). More than a million of these condiment packets are assembled at Opportunity Village each year. And we thought we knew everything. Oh, well.

Opportunity Village

These packets are provided to guests at casino resorts across the country.

Find out more about Opportunity Village, an organization with a successful track record of providing its clients with vocational training, employment and social recreation services that make their lives more productive and fulfilling.

Opportunity Village

Bringing the sparkle.

Thanks to the wonderful staff at Opportunity Village for our tour, and our heartfelt kudos go out to the Sugar Factory for making such a meaningful contribution to the Las Vegas community. Vegas is definitely a town with a heart.

Take a look at our photo gallery taken during our visit to Opportunity Village. Those smiles are simply unforgettable.

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