Inclusion is brewing: Staff with special needs run new coffee shop

Bitty & Beau’s coffee shop opens Saturday in San Marco Square

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A well-known coffee franchise is opening in Jacksonville. The key ingredient? Hiring people with special needs.

Bitty and Beau’s is well-known for inclusion — a place where people with intellectual and developmental differences can thrive.

The grand opening is Saturday, Nov. 19 in San Marco Square. News4JAX went inside for a sneak peek on Friday as the new team practiced with friends and family. There are 25 staff members with special needs – for many it’s their first job.

Related: Coffee shop that employs people with disabilities announces Jacksonville location

“It’s very special, that’s where they accept people with disabilities,” Diamond Solomon, a greeter at Bitty & Beau’s, said.

Ben Wright, Co-Founder of Bitty and Beau’s Coffee, told News4JAX how special the establishment is for the community.

“The people who work here not only get paid, but they also form friendships and a place of belonging and they learn to do things they didn’t know they could do before they worked here,” Wright said.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held on Saturday at 10 a.m. in front of the store in San Marco Square across from the lion fountain. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The coffee shop is located at 1965 San Marco Blvd.

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.

Inclusion is brewing: Staff with special needs run new coffee shop

About the Author:

Lifetime Jacksonville resident anchors the 8 and 9 a.m. weekday newscasts and is part of the News4Jax I-Team.