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RIISE Program students selling the baked goods they made

Students and Faculty Welcome RIISE Program's SweetShoppe and More!

The Nutley High School RIISE Program has started a new business called the SunRIISE SweetShoppe And More! This new addition is a hospitality business and participants are hoping to bring joy both in and outside of the school atmosphere. 


This business started off making cookies, candies, and treats for specific occasions such as birthdays, holidays, and fundraisers but has now expanded to other areas and events like retirement parties and honoring lost loved ones. 


The four students in the RIISE program, Santino Farro, Daniel Thompson, Justin Andros, and Gabriel DeCicco run the business with the help of Mrs. Byrnes and other staff members. “It’s a group effort. Everyone always has something to do! It’s all about them,” said Rich O’Connell, a paraprofessional in the RIISE room. Occasionally, other work-based students will join in to assist for socialization. 


Starting December 8th, the SunRIISE Sweetshoppe added a coffee shop accessible for faculty and staff, open from 9: a.m. to 11:30 a.m., offering a variety of organic coffee roasts and tea options. Typically, they also make breakfast treats such as muffins and scones. Orders can be placed on the Nutley Public Schools website under “Staff” drop down by 11 a.m. for same day delivery. 


In addition to the opening of their new coffee shop, the RIISE program celebrated the holidays with the sale of holiday cookie bundles, chocolate candy pops, chocolate covered pretzels, cranberry/orange mini loaves, and Christmas cans “for all your sweet tooth cravings and more!” said Santino Farro, a member of the RIISE program. 


RIISE members have been making flyers to place in the teacher’s mailboxes and announcements over the loudspeaker to help promote their new additions. Hopes of getting involved with the NHS Radio TV to help advertise their new business is something they have also added to their agenda. On their Instagram @nhs_riise, they have posted pictures and videos documenting their journey throughout the year.


The Head Varsity Cheerleading coach at Nutley High School, Laura Feraco, has spent lots of time with RIISE throughout this school year. “They have been absolutely amazing this year. They worked so hard during Breast Cancer Awareness month to make bows for both the JV and Varsity cheerleading teams and I can’t wait to support them throughout their new businesses,” said Feraco. 


Santino’s mom, Jennifer Farro, has been thrilled to hear about all the new advancements this program is making. “I’m so happy and grateful that they have been experimenting with different things. It is awesome for them and is teaching them great life skills,” said Farro. “I love getting to work with all my friends! I got to make cookies for my teachers and it was so much fun,” said Santino Farro.