“It means so much to us to provide employment to a community that has a hard time finding jobs.”
While the firm’s flexibility enabled Noelle Alix to thrive at V&E, it also enabled her to fulfill a personal goal: empowering her daughter Cate and others with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) for whom job opportunities are scarce.
In 2018, Alix and her husband Tim, in partnership with their friends Kim and Scott Morrison, opened BeanZ & Co., a coffee café in Avon, Connecticut, that provides employment opportunities for individuals with and without disabilities.
In less than a year, the café has been a huge success providing employment to a segment of the workforce that suffers from an 80% national unemployment rate. It has also become a vibrant social hub with customers from all over actively supporting the initiative.
But challenges remain: From the stack of applications Noelle and Kim have from local residents with IDD for whom there simply isn’t enough work, to spreading the message so people with IDD can find meaningful opportunities in communities across the country.