New coffee shop employs baristas with disabilities in Ada

Posted at 6:56 AM, Nov 01, 2019

ADA, Mich. — West Michigan is now home to a new coffee and tea shop, one that is giving people with intellectual disabilities a career.

Brody's be Café, 7267 Thornapple River Dr. SE in Ada, opened Wednesday.

The owner, Jenny Cole, founded the nonprofit earlier this year, with a mission to bridge the gap between those with intellectual or developmental disabilities and those without through meaningful employment.

Brody’s be Café pairs teenagers and adults with special needs with peer coaches for training and support.

Cole is a teacher at Lowell Middle School and mother of three children, including Brody, a Forest Hills school district student with Down Syndrome, for whom the café is named.

Brody's be Café has hired 10 baristas or “Be-Ristas” who will earn minimum wage.