Craig | Champions Among Us

Champions Among Us: Craig Kunisch

Anyone familiar with the Allendale Bar and Grill or the Mahwah Bar and Grill knows the Kunisch family is the heart and soul behind the business. Craig Kunisch, fourth-generation owner and operator, continues the tradition of great food and hospitality, started by his great-grandmother in 1935.,As the Chairman of the NJ Restaurant & Hospitality Association, Craig serves his community by advocating for the protection of local family owned businesses and provides resources regarding industry and legislative education.

In addition to his keen sense of tradition in hospitality, and the contributions he has made to a changing industry, Kunisch is known in the community for his compassion and desire to help others. It is those qualities which caused him to partner with REED Academy, and offer his business for the school’s vocational training program for teens with autism. These are the qualities which make Craig Kunisch a “Champion Among Us”.

This unique experience at the Mahwah Bar and Grill is part of REED Academy’s vocational training program. The program provides students with an opportunity to sample jobs and further develop the necessary skills at REED. Now, Craig and the Mahwah Bar & Grill team are set to employ Mark, REED’s first 21-year-old graduate in the summer of 2018.

When asked about Mark’s current work experience, Kunisch said, “Simply put, we are a better operation with Mark on staff. He does a great job, with an attention to detail that is reflected in his work. His success at his job duties is enhanced by the positive effect he has on our work atmosphere. Our staff looks forward to the days Mark is here, and they are more energized working alongside him. He brightens the shift and adds to the family atmosphere. Mark is a true asset and I would encourage other employers to pursue the opportunity to have other REED learners brighten their workplace as well.”

Craig and his family strive for constant forward progress, while remembering to help those in the community. His big heart and philanthropic pursuits have also led him to support local causes such as Mahwah Marine Moms and the Rose Foundation of Haiti.

REED is optimistic the involvement of Kunisch and other local business owners will continue to enhance the school’s vocational training program. They are in early development other services for individuals over 21 with autism, through their REED Next program, which will provide day programs and residential services. If you are interested in getting involved as a training site, or learning more about REED Next, please contact us at info@reedfoundationforautism.org.