Special Eats Special Team

Tamara Varga

Tamara Varga, Owner

Tamara, has worked in the disability field for 10 years, working as a Division of Developmental Disabilites (DDD) support coordinator. She is currently the Director of the Group Supported Employment Program at Tucson Community Connections. a licensed fiduciary for individuals with special needs, and a caretaker. Tamara is truly dedicated, believes in what she does, and lives it each and every day. Tamara has 3 children, a son with autism, a daughter with selective mutism, and a son with Down syndrome. Her passion for employing individuals with special needs stems from wanting to create an environment she would be proud and blessed to have her children work in. Additionally, she and her talented husband Jeff oversee a foster home for individuals with special needs. For many years, folks of all ages have enjoyed the warmth, safety, and delightful hospitality found in their home. We who are blessed to work with her truly believe she is the best boss in Tucson.
William Harman

William Harman, Owner/Chef

William has been a chef for 20 years. He has helped open multiple restaurants. He has traveled the world cooking in different kitchens. His food has been featured on multiple shows on the Food Network. William has a daughter with autism and loved the idea of starting a food truck that benefits the special needs community. He felt it was very important to have gourmet quality food to go with our special mission.
Jeffrey Varga

Jeffrey Varga, Owner

Jeffrey has worked with individuals with disabilities for 16 years. Additionally, he has worked many years in the food industry, hitting the ground running in his first job as a 16-year-old working for Eegees. He hasn't slowed down since. Jeff is now a top-notch, licensed contractor, the "go-to" guy to which all other "go-to" guys go... to. With his wide body of knowledge in all facets of construction and his quest for turning out the highest quality work, Jeff is uniquely qualifed for, and takes great pride in, training individuals with disabilities for gainful employment in the construction industry. He oversees our 16-year-old training program, helping teens learn the job skills that will carry them through productive and rewarding careers. Jeff is the proud father of three special needs children and oversees an adult foster care home with his lovely wife Tamara.

WE PROUDLY PRESENT OUR

SPECIAL EATS SPECIAL TEAM:

  • Daniel

    Daniel

    Daniel works on our marketing and custodial teams. He helps keep our Instagram up to date with our newest pictures. He also helps keep our truck looking perfect.

  • John

    John

    John has autism, but that doesn’t stop him from being a top-notch food prepper on the food truck, preparing bread for grilling and cutting sandwiches. 

  • Kari

    Kari

    Kari has autism, and is gifted with numbers. She is in charge of our dry goods and food inventory, helping to keep our truck stocked so you can enjoy some of the best grilled-cheese around.

  • Vincent

    Vincent

    He has autism, but that doesn’t stop him from being your amazing cashier. Vincent is in our training program for 16-year-olds, and this is his first job. He says he loves having a job. Come out and get to know Vincent as he works the register at our many, delightful events. 

  • Ben (the artist)

    Ben

    Ben is one of our artists, a true gem. Ben designs, draws and creates unique and beautiful artwork.  We are proud that Ben has chosen Special Eats as a creative outlet his passion. Look for Ben’s artwork on our “to-go” bags at our awesome cheese events. Get yours while you can.

  • Sarah

    Sarah

    Sarah is in charge of handing out the munchies and drinks with your grilled cheese. She also sells our merchandise. She has fetal alcohol syndrome, but that doesn’t stop her from living her best life. Come and get some food and merchandise from Sarah and one of our events.

  • Dave (DJ)

     


    Dave (aka “DJ”) is another wonderful addition to our special team. With a heart almost too large to be contained, Dave is especially caring when anyone in the Special Eats family is struggling through difficult times or  rough patches. Courageous and true, Dave has never shied away from lending a helping hand, a kind word, or even a kick in the seat of the pants when required. He has a great love for animals, especially his dog “Puppy” and would love to, one day,  be a part of the United States Navy. 

  • Jenny

      

    Jenny is one of the sweetest folks we’ve known. Jenny enjoys art, crafts, and puzzles. She is caring and kind with a huge streak of independence. Jenny is a wonderful addition to our special eats team. 

  • Jesse

    Jesse

    He has Down syndrome excels at giving high fives while helping make our merchandise. Jesse loves to make specialty baskets that we sell in front of our food truck or at our office.

  • Monique

    Monique is a unique, loving individual with various skills well-suited for Special Eats, including jewelry making.  She loves the food truck, and enjoys interacting with the Special Eats Team. Monique believes Special Eats is the best at providing her the chance to explore her own individuality while, at the same time, allowing her to work with and get to know such a wonderful and diverse group of exceptional people. 

  • Carol

    Carol is a wonderful addition to our special team. She works in our website/social media management department providing content, copy, updating, and an incredible spirit to our online presence. She enjoys the challenge of the work and Special Eats enjoys having her as one of our special team. 

  • Christian

    Christian

    He has autism, so that makes him very detailed at cleaning our truck and landscaping at our office. He prides himself on the detail he puts into making our truck and landscaping beautiful.

  • Priya

    Priya

    She is part of our janitorial crew at our office and commissary. She has Down syndrome, but there is nothing down about her. She loves to sing while cleaning and loves to give hugs.

  • Jamie

    Jamie

    He has Down syndrome and loves to help make our Down syndrome and autism merchandise collection. Jamie likes to help make bracelets and keychains for our merchandise line.

  • Steven

    Steven

    He is in charge of helping prep the food for our food truck. He has autism and says this is his favorite job. He loves knowing he is helping bring delicious food to the community.

  • Sharon

    Sharon

    Sharon is part of our jewelry-making crew for our merchandise. She also likes to help with cashiering while selling our merchandise. She says she loves her job, and it doesn’t feel like a job. It feels like a family.

  • William

     

    William is happy to be part of Special Eats family. His favorite hobbies include cooking, baking, drawing, and playing simulation video games. William enjoys activities that bring his community together and is excited about zoology and animal welfare. He also gets excited about the many ways video can be prepared and presented. He even has his own YouTube channel. Special Eats loves having William aboard.

  • Jaymi

    Jaymi

    She has selective mutism, but that didn’t stop her from finding a job that is perfect for her. Jaymi helps make our merchandise. She loves to help make our t-shirts and jewelry. She also helps with our shopping for the food truck and merchandise.

  • Robert

    Robert

    He has Down syndrome but loves working. Robert helps in our merchandising department. He puts together baskets and jewelry.

  • Alex

    Alex

    He has autism and is in our first job training program. Alex helps run the orders and assists in the setup and takedown of the food truck.

  • Jesus

    Jesus

    He has autism, and that makes him very detailed. Jesus is on our food truck team. He helps prep the food and is one of our sous chef’s for lunch events.

  • Brandon

    Brandon has Mosaic Down Syndrome. He is ecstatic to be a member of the Special Eats Special Team. He enjoys prepping, cooking, and baking for the Food Trucks. He likes  cleaning, organizing, photography, art, sports, dancing, and being a funny goofball. Brandon loves to play chess and ice hockey, and he loves to be around people because of the fun adventures that are always around every corner.     

  • Brenda

     

    Brenda is our resident horse lover. She has a horse she calls Monti who is more of a friend to her than anything else. It would be difficult to describe the wonderful gifts with which Brenda has been blessed. We at Special Eats have yet to determine if there is any limit to those gifts. Brenda works with the food truck, enjoys setting up inventory in the store, and has proven to be quite a computer wiz while working with Special Eats websites and social media. 

     

  • Cheryl

    Blonde woman with a radiating smile wearing a blue Special Eats Tee sporting a rainbow colored Special Eats logo.

    Cheryl is the loving mother type to us all. She is a part of our merchandising and art team. Perpetually happy, and a bit feisty, she does it just like mama used to. Special Eats is proud to work with her. 

  • Ben

    Ben

    Ben is our all-around guy. He does it all. Ben helps stack the cheese, make bracelets, and helps with our to-go bags. He always has a great attitude and loves working in the food industry.

  • Karen

    Beautiful woman with an incredibly bright smile wearing a red Special Eats tee with a rainbow colored Special Eats logo above the left breast.

    Karen is another multi-talented hand here at Special Eats. You name it, she’ll get it done and there is nothing that she won’t do with the maximum amount of enthusiasm and love. Karen especially enjoys training other folks in procedures, turning out true pros and helping us all recognize our true potential. She is a valuable asset to Special Eats. 

  • Cassandra

    A lovely, young woman wearing a blue tye-dye shirt with a pink tye-dye golf cap. She is in front of pink flowers budding on a tree and has a wonderful smile.

     

    Cassandra is a wonderful mother of 2 who has worked hard all of her life, continues to do so, and has never been afraid to do so. Cassandra is an all-around hand who can do it all. She enjoys working on the food truck and has always specialized in the creation of beautiful, one-of-a-kind jewelry. Special Eats is looking forward to the ideas and creations she’ll bring to our merchandising department.

  • Christina

    Christina: Artistic talent

    You would be hard-pressed to find a more wonderful smile than that of this wonderful, young woman. She has an approach to and zeal for life that is huge, HUGE. Christina works with us in our merchandising and artistic endeavors, bringing in huge amounts of imagination, and talent. She enjoys our almost daily yoga workouts and especially the beadwork we do here. It is so fun to have her with us a Special Eats. 

  • Sharon

    Sharon

    Sharon is that special and rare soul with a quick wit and a quicker smile. Sharon is a shopper, that is, a hard-core shopper. There’s none of that “stopping off for a few minutes” kind of stuff in her life. It comes in handy here at Special Eats as we are in constant need of many different kinds of supplies, crafts, and other support. 

  • Greg

     

    Greg is the quiet man, the shy guy. Greg is an extremely intelligent, aspiring, young culinary artist. Special Eats is blessed to have Greg sharing that artistic talent with us. In no time at all, he has become one of our best grilled cheese artists,  immediately working his way up to the position of cook while earning the respect and love of his fellow peers. Greg’s dream is to work hard while earning his way into culinary school, eventually becoming the master chef we all know he can be. We at Special Eats are only too proud to assist the fine, young man with his dream.

  • Sonia

    Sonia

    What can you say about Sonia that isn’t just simply awesome? Sonia keeps going and going until it gets done, and you can bet it will always get done.  Along the way she adds her own bit of special talent, turning out wonderful work for our merchandising and artistic work here at Special Eats.

  • Alex

    Alex, food truck support, wearing a tye-dye shirt and sporting a huge grin.

    Alex joined Special Eats in support of the Special Eats food truck. Alex is our resident guru, possessing an endless supply of information on a variety of different subjects and is always willing to share what he knows. Alex enjoys a challenging work environment and we at Special Eats work hard to ensure that Alex feels he has found a home here.

  • Arturillo

    Arturillo is loud, he is proud, he is proud to be loud. Special Eats immediately fell in love with him. Art is the kind of guy you throw in to the middle of a problem and sit back waiting for a solution. You can bet there will be a solution: quite imaginative , totally unexpected,  absolutely workable,  Art is a great addition to our team , bringing  a huge amount of experience and knowledge to Special Eats.

  • Valerie

    Valerie is the women with the perfect  smile.  When that smile flies no one is immune to it’s incredible charm. She is also a very talented artist and it shows in everything she does. This combination of charm and talent can brighten up even the most cynical of lives and is especially useful here at Special Eats. 

Our Job Coaches and Support Staff:

Job Coaches provide the tools and a safe environment necessary for individuals with special needs to explore their world, identify their potential, and use that potential as a stepping stone to greater possibilities. Job Coaches work in a fast-paced environment requiring incredible confidence and ability while, at the same time, great humility, resisting any urge to "supervise" or jump in and do it all. Altogether, our management team and job coaches bring over 120 years of combined experience in special needs training to Special Eats and to Special Eats Sweets.
  • Peter

    Peter, Food truck job coach, facilities maintenance

    Peter is a job coach for our lunch time food truck crew. He is also the perfect facilities maintenance guru. You can bet that the job will always be straight, true, properly plumbed and expertly executed. Peter with his eternal smile brings out the best in all of us, along with a bit of mischievousness.

  • Joe

    Close cropped, dark-haired young gent sporting the huge, awesome smile he is known for, fashionable glasses and a Special Eats Tee.

    Joe is Mr. Fix It. We have found nothing that he cannot fix.  His extensive knowledge includes everything from diesel mechanics to boo-boos.  With the right cowboy hat he can even fix broken hearts. Joe, with his permanent, glorious smile is also  an exceptional teacher and a natural leader,  meaning all of us here at Special Eats can fix anything. 

  • Jordan

     

    Handsome young man with a curly shock of thick, brown hair, a cherubic face, and a radiant smile. He is wearing a tye-dyed, Special Eats branded Tee-shirt.

    Jordan brings to Special Eats one of the best customer service personalities in the business. His skills are simply… AWESOME! Jordan came to Special Eats seeking a fantastic work environment, a work environment with purpose. Jordan enjoys the opportunity offered by Special Eats to be in such an environment while helping create a space where people can be themselves. Special Eats welcomes Jordan with his seemingly endless patience along with his ability to get the job done, and get it done right.

  • Laurie

    Laurie

    Laurie, who works with our custodial team as a facilities manager, has been in the disability field for 15 years. Extremely creative, detail orientated, and eternally happy, Laurie and has never met a room that she could not clean, fix, decorate, brighten up, or otherwise embellish with white glove precision. She brings out the best in all of us and our wonderful facilities. We are proud to have her aboard.

  • Elaine

    Elaine

    Elaine is more than our assistant director and the best bookkeeper this side of Heaven.  Elaine keeps everything running smoothly in matters of regulatory compliance, payroll, bookkeeping and Human Resources. Give Elaine 2 columns of numbers or a tough compliance issue and she’s ready to rock-and-roll. She is the glue that quietly holds it all together. Elaine has a nephew with autism and she is indispensable to Special Eats.

  • Dale

    Dale

    Dale is the grumpy, old man of the bunch. He can be found hunched over the computer in an office somewhere grumbling and updating websites and various media. With nearly 6 years in the field, Dale enjoys the constantly moving environment and the wonderful folks that he has been blessed to work with.

  • Aliana

    Lovely woman with large eyes and a radiant smile wearing green Special Eats logo and sporting a rainbow colored Special Eats logo over the left breast.

    Aliana is our an administrative specialist. If you’ve ever wondered that a person very quiet and shy could possess a contagious joy, happiness, or zest for life that radiates to all who know her, wonder no more. Aliana is the one. The Special Eats Special Team loved her immediately. Aliana, with a huge wealth of knowledge behind her, is tremendously qualified in her role at Special Eats, ensuring regulatory compliance and adherence to legal protocol. Special Eats is blessed to have her aboard.
  • Sonia

    Sonia

    She is the creative director for Special Eats. Together with her son, who has Down syndrome, Sonia draws upon an infinite pool of imagination and talent, creating all types of one-of- kind, fabulous merchandise, unique gift baskets, and custom jewelry. If you have an idea, Sonia can bring it to life. She is truly talented, and we are fortunate she has chosen Special Eats to showcase those incredible talents.

  • Natalie

    A beautiful woman with hair pulled up tight and glasses. She's in a relaxed pose, hands at her side and is wearing awesome butterfly jewelery.

    Natalie is the person who, when life hands her lemons, will serve up the lemonade, a thick, juicy steak with all the trimmings, and the most exquisite Pinot Noir. An upbeat and positive young woman, Natalie strives to help folks find the best version of themselves. We at Special Eats have found that she’s very good at that. With her infinite pool of patience and love,  Natalie brings a special talent to Special Eats and we are thrilled to have her with us. 

  • Zidane

    Great looking young man with dark hair, dark eyes, and a friendly smile.

     Zidane, you can call me “Z”, is an awesome young man that comes from a fine family rich in tradition. Z credits his father for giving him the tools he needs to be the highly successful, truly motivated powerhouse he has become. 

     

  • Abraham

    Handsome young gentleman with a bit of a mischievous smile and a confident manner wearing a dark shirt with a camouflage Special Eats logo over the left breast.

    An avid soccer fan, Abraham brings a unique brand of leadership to Special Eats, developed internationally through years of experience on the pitch as player, team captain, and coach. An easy-going, open-minded friend to all, Abraham has also worked as a project manager for the Community Home Repair Project of Arizona (CHRPA), a wonderful non-profit agency dedicated to assisting low-income homeowners. His perspective and ingenuity are invaluable to Special Eats.

  • Melita

    Having over 10 years of experience helping folks with special needs, Melita is a multi-talented, one-woman support system. She knows and loves each and every one of us as one of her own and we at Special Eats are proud to call her one of OUR own.

  • Cal

    Smiling Young man with sunglasses and a decorative ball cap giving the thumbs-up

    “Larger than Life”, this is the only way to describe our good friend Cal. He is an awesome gent whose soul truly surpasses “Big” and surly transcends “HUGE” to be described only as “Larger than Life”.  With his infinite pool of wisdom, his bottomless enthusiasm, his total willingness to share, Cal has a tremendous ability to make all of us here at Special Eats feel the we, too, can be larger than life.