Deep River coffee shop – employing those with disabilities – celebrates grand opening

Connecticut Families

The java is hot, the ice cream is fresh and the service comes with a smile. 

“I enjoy being busy,” says 19-year-old Sam Roy.  “I enjoy having time go by.” 

Welcome to this new coffee shop employing those with disabilities.

“A coffee shop is a place where people come to gather and it’s a very social place,” says founder Jane Moen who named this warm, creative space The Nest, inspired by her daughter. 

“She created a nest for herself whenever she needed a safe place,” explains this Deep River mom.  “And I love that mama birds also push them out and send them on to other things.”

“When I was a kid, a teen, I struggled a lot after my diagnosis,” says Kaylee Moen, who is on the autism spectrum, noting she bounced around six different special education schools becoming anxious and depressed.  “I only ever saw other people struggling and not knowing what they would do with their future – I never met an adult who got through it.” 

Now she’s a shift supervisor, answering questions and giving demonstrations. 

“I think kind of maybe being that person to a few people could be important,” she says with feeling.

“It’s a great opportunity for them and it’s a great opportunity for me,” says Stephen Little who donated funds to start this non-profit which also hosts “Gatherings” for young adults, especially those with special needs. 

“We have trivia night, game night, anime night, and documentary night,” explains Moen.

It’s all a mission to change the public’s perception….to show abilities, skills and bright futures. 

“They’re really talented kids, they’re smart and have a lot to offer,” says Moen.

“It’s ok to go public it’s not big deal,” adds Kaylee, now 25-years-old.  “I hope it teaches people some patience and I hope it gives some young people some confidence.”

Stop by The Nest on Saturday, June 8th to celebrate the coffee shop’s grand opening featuring good food and fun activities.

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