When you visit the website, brodysbecafe.com, the following quote appears, “Like flowers; we may all look different on the outside, but we can all grow together in the same garden.” A Forest Hills student, Brody Cole, is the inspiration behind a new coffee shop in Ada whose mission is to, “Offer a coffee shop that provides a safe and enjoyable work environment for individuals with intellectual and developmental delays along with other special needs.” Brody was born with Down Syndrome. Bill and Jennifer, Brody’s parents, believe that “bridging the gap in every community is a must and it’s important to create a place of acceptance for all people in the community.” That is what Brody’s Be Cafe does. The Coles believe the cafe will provide an opportunity for people with and without special needs to work alongside one another. “The cafe provides a place where everyone can come together to feel their purpose and importance and to realize that we aren’t all that different on the inside.” The cafe is helping break down barriers, proving that those with differing abilities can have meaningful employment. It pairs teenagers and adults with special needs, with peer coaches and mentors for training and support.
According to Jennifer, the cafe is more than just a coffee shop. “It is a place to feel loved, accepted, and belong.”
Brody, who is a sixth-grader at Northern Trails 5/6 School, has played an active role in the planning process. Last year, his classmates at Northern Trails also got in on the action to help raise funds toward the project. Brody’s Be Cafe is a nonprofit organization. To learn more, visit their website, brodysbecafe.com, or view a FOX17 news segment online: https://fox17online.com/2019/11/01/new-coffee-shop-employs-baristas-with-disabilities-in-ada/