Woman Opens Coffee Shop That Employs 40 Adults With Mental Disabilities

Bitty & Beau’s Coffee has an incredible reputation in Wilmington, North Carolina for helping adults with mental disabilities find a new way to live their lives.

Amy Wright is no stranger to the idea. Two of her four children were born with Down syndrome and she wanted a place for others like them to be able to have purpose and contribute to their community. She and her husband learned that 70% of adults living with mental and developmental disabilities aren’t able to secure employment.

What better way to bring the community together than over a hot cup of coffee? The biggest draw for the idea was to demonstrate to the community that individuals with disabilities deserve a chance.

Seeing the staff taking orders, serving coffee — they’d realize how capable they are.” Wright said.

Creating this has given people a way to interact with people with disabilities that they never had before,” she said. “This is a safe place where people can test the waters and realize how much more alike we are than different. And that’s what it’s all about.”

The profits from the shop are put into Wright’s nonprofit organization, Able to Work USA, which helps adults with disabilities find employment. A meaningful place in life helps not only those individuals who need to make a living, but also helps their communities as a whole.

Her coffee shop is an important step, and she hopes that more people will follow in her footsteps.

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