ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Bitty & Beau’s Coffee Shop located in the heart of downtown Annapolis is more than just a place to grab a hot cup of joe.
It’s a path for people with disabilities to become more valued, accepted and included in every community.
“When you come into a Bitty & Beau’s, you feel so welcomed, and we celebrate everybody’s differences here, which is so wonderful,” Meghan Young, General Manager at Bitty & Beau’s, said.
Bitty & Beau’s is the fifth location in the country with 26 employees who look forward to putting a smile on someone’s face every day.
“I like doing all of it, everything,” Heather Brown, and employee, said. “People talking to me and I ask them what they want… what would you like in your coffee? Or would you like anything else?”
“It just makes me feel good inside of my heart,” Amanda Blankenship, an employee, added.
Founders Amy and Ben Wright were inspired to make the world a better place for their children; two of whom have down syndrome, Bitty and Beau.
So in 2016, they opened up their first shop in Wilmington, North Carolina.
“To have a place like this that is all employed by special needs kids, how can you not go wrong? Hw could that not be the business that’s talked about?” Rodger Brown, Heather Brown’s father, said.
Now, there are five locations employing about 120 people with disabilities.
With over 80 percent of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities unemployed nationwide, Bitty & Beau’s Coffee shop hopes customers will leave with a fresh perspective.