“The numbers are astronomical for unemployment with adults with disabilities. It’s upwards near 80 percent whether they’re under-employed or unemployed,” says Kim Morrison, co-owner of Beanz & Co.
This growing problem drove Morrison and her business partner, Noelle Alix, both mothers of children with special needs, to open Beanz & Co.-- an inclusive cafe that employs people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with a support staff to assist.
“My middle daughter has down syndrome, Kate, she’s 21 now. When she was 18 she really wanted to get a job. We went to a ton of places in Simsbury and only one place even gave her an interview” recalls Alix.
“We felt that if we could show the community what’s possible, that yes, we have this untapped resource of employees and they’re extraordinary” she says.
Morrison and Alix had the support of the Be Thoughtful Movement behind them-- a non-profit started by Susan Johnson and her husband Steve Tarca when their son Harold was transitioning from school services to adulthood. The Be Thoughtful Movement raises funds and allocates resources to get businesses like Beanz & Co. up and running.
“Harold has struggled with anxiety and he struggled through school and for him to find a place that he is happy working out of is priceless” says Johnson.
Beanz & Co had it’s soft opening back in December and a grand opening celebration is scheduled for February 9, 2019.