Creating Employment One Coffee at a Time

Common Grounds Co-op: Coffee Shed
Our cousin Emily has been at the Coffee Shed for several years now and I’ve seen how it’s enabled her providing a place that utilizes her abilities and to meet and socialize with others. It’s a simple business model that has made tremendous impact for those that face barriers to employment. They are currently running an Indiegogo campaign to enhance what they are doing.

Less than half of working-age Canadians with disabilities have jobs, according to Statistics Canada. But one Toronto organization is working to reverse that statistic by appealing to the city’s love of coffee culture. 

Common Ground Cooperative is a local non-profit that provides social enterprise and empowered employment opportunities to people with developmental disabilities. One of the participants is The Coffee Shed – a coffee shop run by adults with developmental disabilities headquartered in Surrey Place Centre near Queen’s Park. 

Last month, The Coffee Shed launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund a barista training program inside their premises. Called Made by Mavericks, the training program was created by Gerald Patrick Fantone, a job coach at Common Ground, who came up with the idea after reading about the Galician Down Barista Championships – Spain’s competition for baristas with Down syndrome – in Barista Magazine.

Read the entire article at Now Toronto and contribute the Indiegogo campaign.

I am passionate about people and focused on developing meaningful opportunities for people with accessibility needs through social entrepreneurial initiatives in journalism, consulting, and arts. As a TED talks junkie, I would love to hear your story and ideas. Reach out and connect with me!


1 Comment

  1. Very interesting story – the FABERNAK restaurant, part of 519 Community Centre, also employs and trains restaurant staff from sections not usuaslly able to get employment – R Viswanathan (RV).

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