How Co-Founders Of The Bitty & Beau’s Coffee Shop Franchise Turned Their Mission Into A Movement—And Scaled It

Bitty & Beau’s Coffee
Photo Courtesy: Bitty & Beau’s Coffee

This thriving coffee shop chain is making an impact on the cafe industry by highlighting the importance of equal work opportunities for all.

Life is like a cup of coffee. At times, navigating through the bitter complexities may be hard to swallow, but just as a cup of joe can offer comfort and warmth, life too can bring moments of contentment and happiness.

It’s for this reason there’s something special about sharing a steaming cup of freshly brewed coffee with those you hold dear. So, whether it’s a relaxing morning ritual or a cozy evening meet-up, the moments spent together can create memories to cherish for a lifetime.

But for the co-founders of the Bitty & Beau’s Coffee business, Amy and Ben Wright, this type of lasting impression stems far beyond what lies within the ceramic. In fact, this feeling should ignite the minute you step into the shop. 

Welcoming you with a big smile and a chance for change, it’s the people who proudly stand with their communities in the workplace that matter most. However, not everyone gets a chance to serve.

A national statistic showed that a staggering 80% of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the U.S. are unemployed nationwide—even though they have the potential to work in almost any industry. A percentage that shocked Amy and Ben Wright, whose two children, Bitty and Beau, were born with Down syndrome.

“At that time, in 2015, when we learned of this percentage, we were determined to ensure that our kids would not become part of that statistic,” explains the duo. 

And so, a decision was made to establish a space that appreciates and celebrates individuals with disabilities in 2016—granting them a chance to engage in purposeful employment. Now, Bitty & Beau’s Coffee, who was awarded the  2017 CNN Hero of the Year, is a successful, scaling business. 

With over 700,000 loyal followers across all social media platforms, the chain has opened 18 locations across 11 states and the District of Columbia—with another five openings slated for 2024. So far, Bitty & Beau’s Coffee employs over 400 people with disabilities.

Photo Courtesy: Bitty & Beau’s Coffee

“An extraordinary customer experience is the hallmark of our coffee shops,” says Amy Wright. “No matter which one of our shops you visit across the country, you are going to have not only a great beverage, but more importantly, a transformative experience you won’t soon forget.”

“We hope that our guests will leave our shops, go back into their own lives, and begin to think about what their business might look like if they employed someone with a disability,” shares Ben Wright.  

Striving to create an impactful and memorable journey for their customers, Bitty & Beau’s Coffee is more than just a cup of coffee; it is a beacon of light, shining the way for many more individuals to “intentionally include people with disabilities in their own life—whether it be at school, at work, or in their social circles.”

So just “leave your doubt at the door,” concludes Amy Wright. “Our slogan invites you to let go of any preconceived notions you may have about people with disabilities.”

In her acceptance speech at the CNN Heroes award show, Amy Wright, looked straight into the camera and said to her children:

“I will not change you for the world, but I will change the world for you.”

So, if you want to be a part of something spectacular, visit your nearest Bitty & Beau’s Coffee and experience a place where everyone is celebrated and appreciated.

Published by: Nelly Chavez


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