Yet there are other signs that this is someplace different. There's the bubbly cashier, Jesse Guillaume, who has cerebral palsy and wears a flower crown every day, and only takes a break from chatting to ring up customers’ coffee orders. There's Matt Dean, who has autism and is bent on selling Bitty and Beau’s totes to everyone who walks in the door — "It's perfect for summer!" — in between helping out behind the bar, where workers churn out frappes and cappuccinos.
“You kind of see a lightbulb go off in people’s eyes,” Ben Wright, who co-founded the shop with his wife, Amy Wright, told TODAY during a recent visit. All of their 40 employees have some form of disability, with the exception of two managers.
“The whole point is just to show people who come in that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can do a lot more than you think they can,” Wright added.
“This dream has unfolded so quickly and with so much support behind it that we never saw this coming,” Amy Wright, who runs day-to-day operations at the coffee shop, told TODAY.
The Wrights have four children; their youngest two, Bitty, 7, and Beau, 12, the coffee shop’s namesakes, have Down syndrome. They opened the shop in part so that their children would one day have a place to work.
This coffee shop is changing the way we see people with disabilities