SARASOTA, Fla. - Employees at a Sarasota cafe are doing a lot more than working the cash register and serving up coffee.
Rise Coffee Co. and Nye's Cream Sandwiches is giving employees a chance for a better life.
"It's all about inclusion for these guys, all about giving them an opportunity which they haven't had forever," said Beaver Shriver.
Partnering with The Haven and Easter Seals, Beaver Shriver has about 30 employees working at the shop. He co-owns the business with Christian Nye of Nye's Cream Sandwiches.
Employees range in ages from 16 to 75 years old. Many have developmental and intellectual disabilities.
"80% of these guys who are able to work are unemployed. We felt we needed to do something to make a dent in that," Shriver said.
Employees earn a paycheck, but Shriver knows the job is worth much more. Friendships are made and self-confidence is developed. Many finally have a chance to feel included.
"I did the cash register, I’m serving coffee right now. So far it’s going good. It’s a process," said Adam Carmona.
Adam Carmona is 27 years old. He's thriving with the business.
"It helps you grow," he said.
Tyler Cook couldn't be happier.
"I'm working 3 days. The managers and the people it’s a family," said Cook.
Shriver hopes the shop will ignite a spark and bring acceptance to all.
"It helps to end the fear of difference, and now there’s opportunity for them to come in, meet these people, spend some time with them and realize they are just regular people and they should be and need to be included with everybody," he said.
Rise and Nye's is located at 1534 State Street in Sarasota.
They're open Monday-Saturday from 7 a.m to 9 p.m. For more information visit https://riseandnyes.com/.