HIGH POINT — There’s some good news brewing for High Point’s intellectually and developmentally disabled community.
A Special Blend, a Greensboro coffee shop that hires developmentally disabled individuals, may open a location in High Point in 2022, said Dennis Murphy, a board member who oversees operations of the nonprofit shop.
“We’ve had a store in Greensboro since November 2018, where we have about 35 adults with developmental disabilities who work there,” Murphy said. “The store has been very successful, so we want to do another one in High Point.”
An informational meeting aimed primarily at parents of adults with disabilities will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Miracle League Field on School Park Road. Other community members who want to get involved in the planning and fundraising are also invited to the meeting.
“This will take at least a year to do,” Murphy said. “We raise money first, because we want to go into it debt-free like we did with (the Greensboro store). When we get to a certain level, then we start looking for a location. We don’t want to outdrive our headlights.”
Murphy said he’s been extremely encouraged from preliminary conversations that have taken place about opening a High Point location.
“From what we’ve seen so far, I’ve got to believe it’s going to happen,” he said.
A Special Blend serves a variety of coffees and specialty drinks, as well as pastries and other food items, including bagels, croissants, muffins, cake, ice cream and milkshakes.
The best thing about A Special Blend, though, is the sense of self-worth it gives to the intellectually and developmentally disabled individuals who work there, Murphy said.
“Everybody has dreams — everybody needs a reason to get out of bed in the morning,” he said. “For about 80% of adults with disabilities, they never have a job. But here, they get joy out of it, they get meaning, they feel significant, and the change in them is unbelievable.”
Furthermore, he said, the store’s motto — “Community in a Cup” — resonates with patrons.
“Our mission statement says that we employ adults with disabilities in an interactive setting, where their lives and the lives of the community can be enhanced, and we’ve really seen that,” Murphy said. “It’s just a joyful place to be.”
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