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Helping the Disabled with Sample Supports

Sample Supports was established in 2010 by Mark and Carmen Sample with the vision of creating a unique service agency focused on helping underserved adults and youth with developmental disabilities. The organization has evolved over the years providing the best and most innovative programs to help their clients succeed in everyday life.

Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, Carmen knew it was in her blood to be her own boss. In her early twenties, she received her Masters Degree in Social Work and became a licensed clinical social worker on top of purchasing her first company. “I learned a great lesson after I bought my first business at 22, which was that people should only do what they love.”  She closed that business two years later and then started Sample Supports when she was 25. “I now wake up everyday excited about going to work and passionate for the people I am helping.”

Sample Supports is unique because they are not only a successful social enterprise company grossing more than eight million annually, but have also built multiple sustainable social enterprise businesses that offer competitive and integrated employment opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through their sister businesses: Crystal Joys gem shop, Gallery 1874, and Samples World Bistro.

Located in downtown Longmont, Samples World Bistro is one of the most recent additions. This full-scale restaurant came to fruition when Mark merged his love for food and experience as a brewer with his passion for helping persons with disabilities. The restaurant features 28 beers on tap, focuses on international cuisine and beer pairings, and hails the slogan, “Eat more beer.” The atmosphere is welcoming, and diners leave with satisfied taste buds and a full heart.

Sample Supports’ full list of services is vast. They house over 400 individuals with developmental disabilities along the Front Range offering residential support such as Family Caregiver Services (employing relatives who want to provide in-home care), Host Homes (offering 24/7 support for host home providers), Supported Apartment Programs (facilitating the step-by-step process to finding a lease and on-going support), supported living services and employment, behavior, and day programs.

Mark and Carmen worked with Guaranty Bank and Trust Company and Colorado Lending Source to secure over $1 million in financing to purchase and renovate commercial real estate for Samples World Bistro under the SBA 504 loan program. Samples World Bistro employs up to 50 individuals annually; and looking at the business overall, Sample Supports has seen nearly 80% growth each year with more than 250 staff on hand. With more amazing endeavors like Samples World Bistro to come, Mark and Carmen’s impact will truly be invaluable. 

Carmen's Words of Wisdom:
My parents have always been my biggest inspiration since they're entrepreneurs too. From the time I was a kid, I helped them run their businesses, even on the weekends, which taught me my work ethic.