Sweet as Cupcakes: Linda Tyndall’s Job Fosters Independence

Linda Tyndall holds a display of colorful iced cupcakes at her job at C. Cupcakery in Moore County.

Linda Tyndall, a resident of Monarch’s Pennsylvania Avenue group home in Moore County, holds a colorful display of cupcakes at her job at C. Cups Cupcakery bakery.

Walking through the pink doors into the dining area of  C. Cups Cupcakery, a bakery in Pinehurst, is a real treat – in every sense of the word. In front of the display of colorful cupcakes and other baked goods sits Linda Tyndall, who is folding pink boxes for customers to take home their delightful delectables.

“I really do like the job,” says Tyndall. “It keeps my mind going.”

Tyndall lives at Monarch’s Pennsylvania Avenue Group Home, a supervised home for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, in Southern Pines. When she is not working, she attends Monarch’s Creative Arts and Community Center (MCACC) also in Southern Pines which offers activities such as pottery, art, dance and music.

Tyndall works part time at both C. Cups Cupcakery in both Pinehurst and Southern Pines.

“This job is helping me. I want to be more independent,” Tyndall explains. “I like it. I like to clean up and make boxes and make balloons.”

Tyndall’s niece, Sharon Gagnon, who is also her guardian, notes that her aunt’s job has provided her an opportunity to become more independent.

“Anytime I see or talk to her it is always the first thing that she tells me,” Gagnon says. “I think her job allows her to socialize with people, learn to work with others, and how to work to meet a goal. She lights up whenever she talks about her job and the amazing people that she works with! I think this job has given her a sense of independence. It makes her proud to earn money and be able to purchase things she wants for herself.”

Kayla Burton, a baker at C. Cups Cupcakery in Pinehurst, has worked with Tyndall since she began at the bakery last fall.

“Whenever she comes in, she is always in the best of moods and I know when she comes in, I always look forward to a great conversation to start my mornings,” Burton comments.

Burton, too, has seen Tyndall’s growth both professionally and personally.

“When she first started, I kind of had to coach her and now when she comes in, she knows exactly what she should do, she starts where she should start and she finishes where she should finish. I don’t really have to tell her anymore, she just gets to it and does it very well,” her teammate remarks.

Kathy Williams, developmental specialist at the Pennsylvania Avenue Group Home, has known Tyndall for four years and says her part-time job has helped her recognize the importance of managing time and budgeting money.

“Linda likes to talk and make friends with new people,” Williams says of the role that matches well with Tyndall’s personality.

Linda Tyndall (right) sits with her colleague Kayla Burton (left) at C. Cups Cupcakery in Pinehurst.  

At right, Linda Tyndall takes a break with colleague, Kayla Burton, at C. Cups Cupcakery in Pinehurst.

Queen Troy, Pennsylvania Avenue Group Home residential manager and who has known Tyndall for 10 years, also agrees that working a job has helped her mature and learn important life skills.

“In the past she would argue with peers that upset her, but now she walks away,” Troy explains. “It’s a great benefit because it gives her a chance to make money, to save, and it gives her a chance to learn about budgeting and communication skills while she is out in the community.”

There is no getting around jokes about the lighthearted nature of Tyndall’s work. “She has become very outspoken and she advocates for us to buy cupcakes at her job,” Troy says with a chuckle.

Aside from the accolades of how Tyndall excels at her job, one question remains: what is her favorite cupcake?

The coconut cupcake is a favorite, Tyndall says, but she also notes she does not eat many cupcakes at all.

Posted on: Wednesday August 18, 2021