A proposed coffee shop that will serve hot drinks while creating jobs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is the recipient of the Centre Foundation’s 2017 Centre Inspires grant.
The $100,000 award goes to Strawberry Fields for its idea for the shop.
Located in State College, the organization provides comprehensive services and support for people with disabilities and their families.
“The Centre Inspires granting program encourages innovative programs to create transformation for our community,” said Molly Kunkel, executive director at Center Foundation. “Strawberry Fields’ coffee shop idea is brand new to our area, and has the potential to truly change the lives of everyone involved.”
The coffee shop, which has not yet been named, will be modeled after Bitty & Beau’s Coffee, located in Wilmington, N.C. Roy Love, of Nittany Valley Chiropractic Center, had first experienced Bitty & Beau’s while visiting his daughter at college, according to the Centre Foundation.
“And I kept going back. I don’t even drink coffee, but it was the experience and warm feeling that I got from the employees that kept taking me back,” Love said in a release. “I knew that a coffee shop like this would be well received in State College, so I proposed the concept to Strawberry Fields.”
Strawberry Fields is finalizing the location of the coffee shop and plans to open in late spring 2018, according to Centre Foundation.
“Strawberry Fields is honored to be the recipient of the 2017 Centre Inspires Award,” said Cindy Pasquinelli, CEO of Strawberry Fields. “This coffee shop is a joint effort of many local partners who share our dream of a future that holds inclusion, acceptance and employment for an underserved group of people. We are proud to have Centre Foundation join us in this new venture.”
Centred Outdoors, proposed by ClearWater Conservancy, won the award in 2016. The program was designed to connect people with nature through guided family-friendly outings. The tours saw nearly 2,000 residents participating one of the nine tours over the summer.