Thea Digiammerino

‘Everyone Belongs': Avon Coffee Shop Employs Workers of All Abilities

"Everyone belongs."

That's the message you'll immediately get when you walk inside BeanZ and Co. in Avon. The co-owners have made it their mission to hire people with developmental disabilities, and for them it's personal.

If you eat lunch at the coffee shop, you’ll notice right away it’s packed. Someone like Lauren Trazeski might be your server.

“To be a waitress and to be bringing out food-- that’s something I never thought I would be doing,” said Trazeski. “I love it.”

Behind the counter is Nick Sinacori.

“I do the register and sometimes bring food to the customers,” Sinacori said.

He’s 23 years old and has been working here since the café opened in December.

“It’s awesome it’s really like family here,” he said.

The mission here is simple and extra special.

“BeanZ and Co. is a café where we employ adults with and without intellectual and or physical disabilities,” said owner Kim Morrison.

Friends and co-owners Kim Morrison and Noelle Alix were inspired by their own daughters who have special needs.

“We decided that we wanted to make a difference and we wanted to help our community,” Morrison said. “They earn a paycheck. They have jobs. You can see how busy we are. This is a for profit business so we have to keep going. We do push them and they learn new skills.”

Customers say they love it.

“When I heard about this spot, it was a must come for me,” John Neagle of Simsbury said.

“It’s really good and everyone has been really friendly,” said Bryn Mathews, a customer from Avon.

Everything from the counter height to the computer system to the coffee machine has been adapted.

“That is our goal to bring BeanZ and company to other communities so that we can share this mission and share this experience with more people,” Morrison said.

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