Kent cafe bonds those recovering from substance abuse: ‘It becomes a family’

Kent cafe bonds those recovering from substance abuse: ‘It becomes a family’

KENT — October 23 was a very special day for resident Brian Verrilli. It marked his one-year anniversary of being sober.

Over the course of a year, Verilli’s life completely changed. He has new hobbies, a new home and a new job at the front of the house at Wilson’s Bakery & Cafe, which opened in August.

Wilson’s, which is owned by Kent’s High Watch Recovery Center, employs only those who are in recovery from substance abuse disorder — from the chefs to the bakers to the baristas.

“We reach out to individuals in the recovery community, many of whom are alumni of High Watch, and they become the backbone of our employee base,” said Jason Perillo, chief marketing officer at High Watch, an in-patient residential treatment facility for drugs and alcohol that opened in 1939.

Wilson’s was named after the late Bill Wilson, founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, the High Watch program is founded on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous, and Wilson — who founded AA in the late 1930s — was on High Watch’s original board of directors in 1939.


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