Wilmington coffee shop employing people with disabilities opens

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Ribbon cutting at Beau's Coffee in Wilmington
Ribbon cutting at Beau's Coffee in Wilmington
wtvd-image courtesy WWAY

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WTVD) -- Hundreds were gathered on Monday at an opening of a Wilmington coffee shop which employs people with disabilities. Beau's Coffee is named after Amy Wright's son who has Down syndrome.

"I thought this will be the perfect opportunity to give people with intellectual disabilities jobs, to interact with our community, and show them how capable they are, and hopefully along the way inspire other businesses to hire people with disabilities, too," Wright said.

Employees are trained on all aspects of running the shop - from making coffee to clearing tables.

Many workers there say it's more than a job for them, it's a way to be a leader in the disabled community.

"Everybody deserves a chance, physically challenged or not," employee Dustin Estarbrook said. "But especially for the ones that are physically challenged, that's what I do. I'm a leader. I love to lead by example and to hopefully have them follow me."

The team at Beau's says the first day was a major success. Wright said there were about 200 people at the ribbon cutting Monday.

Read more from WWAY.

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