MELROSE (CBS) — Since Bitty & Beau’s coffee shop opened in Melrose on Saturday, customers haven’t stopped walking through the door.
“Most coffee drinkers go to the same place every day but I wanted to try something different and support the cause. Might’ve won me over,” said Bill Brennan of Revere.READ MORE: DiGiorno Recall: Frozen Pizza Boxes May Be Mislabeled, Have Undeclared Allergens
The friendly service is noticeable right away, and helping to win customers over,
“The people. The people are the whole experience. The coffee is great but just interacting with the people, it’s just a great feeling,” said Joe Hickey of Melrose.
Bitty & Beau’s is run by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, with the company advocating for their inclusion and acceptance.
“My little brother Devon has down syndrome. I learned about this coffee shop and it’s amazing what they’re doing and giving opportunities to people like him,” said Brenna Detra of Boston.READ MORE: Climate Protesters Removed After Tying Themselves To Boat Outside Gov. Charlie Baker's House In Swampscott
“We’ve seen a lot of people with young children. They get to see the possibility and see that there is a future for their child- a future in the job force and to give back and it’s smiles, it’s happiness, it’s warm feelings. It’s wonderful,” said Allie Horowitz, Director of Training & Quality Assurance at Bitty & Beau’s.
“People are quick to discount people with down syndrome or people with disabilities or special needs but they’re some of the most sweetest and loving people you will ever meet,” said Detra.
The first location opened in 2016 and there are a number of shops and over 200 employees across the country. The Bitty and Beau’s at 462 Main Street in Melrose is the first location in Massachusetts, as the company continues to spread an important message.
“The overall mission is really to change the way people see other people. We’re hoping more individuals and other job companies will open their doors to people with disabilities and everyone deserves a chance to work and we’re hoping to prove that,” said Horowitz.MORE NEWS: 'Significant' Water Main Break In Concord Affecting Residents Across Town
For more on the company, visit their website.