Texas

New Rice Village coffee shop is the perfect combination of beer and inclusivity

Bitty & Beau’s mainly employs people with Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy and other intellectual disabilities.

HOUSTON — A coffee shop primarily staffed by adults with developmental disabilities has opened its 17th location in Rice Village.

Bitty & Beau’s is the perfect combination of strong coffee and inclusivity. Basically, people with Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy and other intellectual disabilities work in the store.

“This is a kind of bridge for people without disabilities and a place where people with disabilities are. It’s a place where they can come together and get to know each other in a familiar environment…” said Ben Wright, founder of Bitty & Beau’s.

With the help of supervisors, employees do everything from welcoming customers to cleaning and taking orders.

“I really like what I do,” said Ryan von Drele.

Customers love what the people at Bitty & Beau do.

“We wanted to support Bitty & Beau’s mission to enable people with intellectual disabilities to show others what they can do and what their abilities are,” said one client.

The family members of those who work behind the counter are happy that their loved ones got the chance to join the workforce.

“He always brings a smile,” said Luis Quintero, father of the staff. “He always likes to make people happy, so he communicates with them and wants them to feel comfortable,”

They hope this will set an example for other companies to wake up and smell the coffee.

“That’s all it takes to include people with disabilities in the workforce. It does not require an army of people. It takes people who are full of determination, passion and courage,” Wright said.

Bitty & Beau’s is open daily from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. If you are interested in applying, you can email [email protected]

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