JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – Noah’s Agape Café is now open at Fruit Cove in St. Johns County.
The cafe hires people with special needs. Positions range from cashiers, dining room assistants, storekeepers, dishwashers and working behind the coffee bar.
Beckie Schwartz, the owner, said she wanted the posts to be visible to the community.
She named the cafe after her son, Noah, 15. He has Down syndrome and is legally blind, but will be the youngest employee there.
“I want them to arrive smiling and looking forward to working and being part of the community. Show people that they are so capable, willing, ready and want to work,” Schwartz said.
The coffee is specially blended by Martin Coffee Company, the oldest coffee roaster in North Florida. Works by local artists with intellectual differences will be exhibited, according to their website.
Noah’s Café partners with Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville, Best Buddies Association of North Florida, and Noah’s School, North Florida School of Special Education (NFSSE), to mentor and provide opportunities for people with special needs.
The cafe will also serve as an additional training and employment center for graduates. It will also sell Barkin’ Biscuits dog treats, made by NFSSE students.
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