Bitty & Beau’s Coffee, a shop run by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, will open its third location in Savannah, Ga., on Saturday.
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Founder Amy Wright has two children with Down syndrome, Bitty and Beau, who the coffee shop is named after. She was aware that a majority of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities are unemployed. Wright was determined to be part of the solution.
The first Bitty & Beau’s Coffee shop opened in January 2016 in Wilmington, N.C. It began with 18 employees and grew to employ around 40 people.
The second location of Bitty & Beau’s Coffee opened in February 2018 in Charleston, S.C. The shops now employ approximately 80 people.
On Saturday, Jan. 12 at 10 a.m. EST, the third location will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony and will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Bitty & Beau’s Coffee has also attracted some famous clientele. It’s the official coffee of the “Rachel Ray Show.”
For her advocacy work for people with disabilities, Wright won the 2017 CNN Hero of the Year award, which included $100,000 toward her cause.
Wright told The Mighty they plan to open shops all over the country in the next few years and have some big announcements in store for 2019.
“Our hope is that other businesses will see our success and realize the importance and benefit of hiring people with intellectual disabilities,” she added. “When other businesses begin to hire people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, this will truly affect the unemployment epidemic.”