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Grinding Up for a Good Cause

Mark Boyer | Writer

When you think of coffee, you think about the aroma from the caffeinated cup of brew that fills the air early in the morning, pulling you closer and closer, inches away from indulgence, and nothing beats the first sip. Afterwards comes the sweet but slightly bitter taste of pure victory that will help you get on with the day, and the aftertaste lingers on like a memory.

That’s what Bitty & Beau’s Coffee does. But rather than leaving you with a sweet and sour aftertaste, they leave you with a simple message, human equality.

Founded January 2016 in Wilmington, NC, Bitty & Beau’s Coffee is a franchise owned and operated by couple Amy and Ben Wright. The Wrights are parents of four children Lillie, Emma Grace, Beau, and Bitty. Lillie was born with autism, while Bitty and Beau were born with Down syndrome.

Due to a whopping 80% of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities unemployed nationwide, the Wrights established Bitty & Beau’s Coffee as a way for people with disabilities to become more valued, accepted and included in all communities. To compensate and reduce the percentage, once Bitty & Beau’s opened for business, the Wrights employed 19 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Currently, they have magnified over 23 shops in 12 states with over 200 employees, one hailing in Center City Bethlehem, PA. Adding on to their expansion endeavors, they have contributed by partnering with corporations and gaining shops in world headquarters.

In her review of the coffee shop, fellow LCCC student Adde Warmkessel shared some of her opinions.

“I think Bitty and Beau's is an amazing establishment that provides wonderful opportunities to those with disabilities," she said. Many who are disabled have trouble finding jobs because they are seen as 'incapable.' This is absolutely not the case.”

She further noted, “I had a great experience when I went to Bitty and Beaus including their super unique ways of communicating orders and little encouraging notes on their coffee cups that are hand written by the employees. I would recommend Bitty & Beau’s to all!”

It’s evident that Bitty & Beau’s is making a rising change in its mission to erase the conceptualized idea that is associated with mental and physical disabilities as they strive to provide a new outlook on how we as humans interact with one another. What people could gain from this franchise is that beyond any mental/ physical disabilities, people should be treated with respect. With Bitty & Beau’s simple but complex message of inclustivy, society can only hope to see that we are all just human.


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