Coffee stand that employs people with disabilities looks to open Raleigh shop
After two years of serving coffee at a booth at the State Farmers Market, a nonprofit is ready to expand thanks to the special employees who work there.Posted — Updated
If adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities can find a paying job, it's typically not in customer service, according to Wrege. That's what makes 321 Coffee -- which currently employs 21 people -- special.
"I wanted to create something in a place where they can work in a meaningful way," Wrege said. "They can be a contributing and involved part of society and just show off all of their unique strengths that this community has to offer."
321 Coffee couldn't have been a better fit for 22-year-old Matthew Schwab, even if he can't vouch for the product itself.
"To be honest, I'm not a coffee drinker -- but I'm a coffee server," Schwab laughed.
"I was having a bad day at work and I saw this and met these folks," Drew said. "I saw all the people put together and it reminded me of what's right with the world."
Wrege is ready to expand the mission of 321 Coffee by opening a storefront in the Raleigh area. It could mean more hours, more pay and more independence for her employees.
You can visit 321 Coffee at the State Farmers Market on Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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