Coffee shop employing workers with special needs opens in Savannah

((source: WTOC))
Updated: Jan. 12, 2019 at 7:24 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -A coffee shop with international attention for its inspirational business plan opened its Savannah location on Saturday.

Bitty and Beau’s Coffee gives those with special needs a place to work and the community a chance to see what they’re capable of.

“We wanted to find a way to help our community accept and include our children," said Amy Wright, the founder of Bitty and Beau’s Coffee Shop. "What we discovered through creating this coffee shop is you cannot accept and include somebody unless you first value them, and this coffee shop demonstrates the value in these individuals lives.”

For Karen Hancock, whose daughter Kenzie works at the shop, it’s an opportunity she always worked and hoped for.

“I always dreamed that Kenzie would work when she got older, and we’ve pushed and pushed and pushed and yet pushed some more to make sure she was provided the opportunities,” said Hancock.

Even before people packed the shop on Saturday, Hancock already recognized the value this space and this job have in Kenzie’s life.

“This week has been training, so they’ve been here everyday," said Hancock. "She’s had to get up early, bounced right out of the bed every single day. I’ve not been able to wipe the smile off her face. She can’t wait to get here. My husband brought her down here. She got out of the car, and he got out of the car with her. She says, ‘No Dad, I’ve got this,’ and clearly, she’s got this. Look at those faces in there. Every single one of them smiling from ear to ear. It’s just been awesome. We’ve needed this in Savannah for a very long time.”

One of the employees, Mason, offered a special blessing for the building.

“Dear God, thank you for our wonderful day and for the owner, who’s my boss now, that they would open this shop so that they can share the love that they have for people with disabilities and special needs. Watch over this shop as we continue the mission. In Jesus' name, Amen.”

Before the shop officially opened at 10 a.m., a line formed around the block, proving Bitty and Beau’s Coffee gives people a different kind of pick-me-up.

“It’s clearly more than a cup of coffee, and that’s their slogan," said Hancock. "More than a cup of coffee. You will leave here feeling like $1 million.”

The shop is located at 319 W. Congress St. and is open from 8 a.m.- 6 p.m. daily.

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