Coffee shop that employs people with disabilities announces Jacksonville location

Jacksonville shop for Bitty and Beau’s Coffee will be located in San Marco Square

Bitty and Beau's Coffee to open Jacksonville location

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Bitty and Beau’s Coffee on Friday announced the location of its Jacksonville shop.

The coffee shop will be located at 1965 San Marco Blvd. in San Marco Square.

Bitty & Beau’s Coffee posted the announcement on Facebook, saying the Jacksonville location will be opening this year.

Bitty and Beau’s Coffee has about two dozen locations across the country, but it’s not your average franchise. It employs people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“With over 80% of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities unemployed nationwide, the Wrights believe that Bitty & Beau’s Coffee creates a path for people with disabilities to become more valued, accepted and included in every community,” the website says.

The original shop opened in January 2016 in Wilmington, North Carolina, and employed 19 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, according to the website. Now, the website says, Bitty & Beau’s Coffee has more than 200 employees in 12 states.

Bitty and Beau’s Coffee announced last year that it was expanding to Jacksonville, but the exact location wasn’t yet known.

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Around that time, News4JAX spoke with founder Amy Wright. She and her husband have four children, and two of them -- Bitty and Beau -- were born with Down syndrome.

“Some people come into our shops with a tear in their eye because they have sought us out, they know what they’re about to experience. Maybe they have a child with a disability, and they’re looking for hope. And then there are people that leave with a tear in their eye because they can’t believe what they just saw,” Wright said. “And it’s a change of heart and mind. And it’s a place of hope.”

Wright also talked about the decision to open a shop in the River City.

“From day one, we’ve had people say, ‘Come to Jacksonville, come, you know, bring Bitty and Beau’s Coffee.’ So we have already felt the warm welcome and can’t wait to open,” Wright said. “ Jacksonville will probably hire 20 to 30 individuals with disabilities along with the support staff of typically developing people. So, I mean, that’s a lot of great jobs. And we’re looking forward to that.”

An exact date for the opening of the Jacksonville shop has not been announced yet.

Bitty & Beau’s Coffee has been featured on national shows and publications, including “The Today Show,” CNN, “Good Morning America,” People Magazine and Southern Living Magazine.

For more information about Bitty and Beau’s Coffee, click here.