CHRISSIE Dixon had been without work for more than two and a half years.
With a diagnosed mental condition, no employer was willing to give the eager worker a chance.
But Palmwoods lettuce and Asian vegetable grower, Blake Nicolle, has long realised the abilities of those some have labelled "disabled".
Mr Nicolle has given Chrissie and 11 other employees with a disability a sought after chance.
They help him grow between 10,000 and 12,000 heads of lettuce and Asian vegetables on 6.5ha for his company Salad Brothers
He supplies numerous IGAs across the Sunshine Coast, as well as local restaurants and big supermarket stores like Coles, Woolworths and Aldi.
By employing people through an organisation such as Steps in Maroochydore, Mr Nicolle doesn't just get an eager workforce; he accesses a federal government subsidy to help pay the wages.
"The subsidies helped me start my business," Mr Nicolle said.
For Chrissie, having a job that involves work outdoors has given her a new purpose in life - good medicine that money can't buy.
"It's hard work, but it's not stressful," she said.
"Stress is my biggest trigger."
Cheree Cone gets up at 3am to be at work by 4.30am and couldn't be happier.
"I used to get up at 3am and start worrying about things, like how I was going to pay my bills," she said.
"Now I get up to go to work."
Mr Nicolle hopes to employ more people with a disability and hopes to get the support of stores like the IGA to help his business grow further.
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