EmVP: A new coffee shop with a special mission

6 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago Tuesday, March 10 2020 Mar 10, 2020 Tuesday, March 10, 2020 8:49:00 PM CDT March 10, 2020 in News
By: Emily Spain, KOMU 8 Anchor & Marcelle Peters, KOMU 8 Producer
loading

COLUMBIA - Love Coffee is not your typical coffee shop. It's a chance for people with disabilities in mid-Missouri to be independent, make friends and grow professionally.

"All together we have 29 people on staff, 19 of those employees are people with either an intellectual or physical disability," said Love Coffee manager, David Wilson. "We're hoping we can create an environment to where they feel welcomed."

Before the cafe opened full time, management held a hiring party to surprise the new employees and celebrate their accomplishment.

"We told them they were going to a coffee shop for training and they got off the bus one by one... we held up signs and had people yelling, screaming, clapping,” Wilson said.

Dozens of people attended the invite-only event to show their support and cheer on the new employees. 

“I felt like I just won a championship for some kind of sport," said Tomas Swenson. "I kept telling other people, 'Am I dreaming? Is this really happening?'"

This is Swenson's second job and he said he's excited for the opportunity to work somewhere that makes an effort to accept people the way they are.

“Just to know that I can do a job with my limits and they’re willing to take me and see what I can do," said Swenson. "I'm feeling very loved and very blessed to know that everyone here is behind our backs."

Love Coffee does more than sell coffee or pastries. It gives people with disabilities the chance to be independent and make their own money. Victoria Oleski spends a lot of time volunteering and giving back, but this is her first job.

"I like to help people a lot," said Oleski. "I just want to make my parents proud."

Holding back tears, her mom Francesca said she couldn't be more proud. She never thought Victoria would have the opportunity to do this kind of job.

"I'm very proud of what she's accomplished," she said. "She's going to meet people, be able to socialize and serve others."

Love Coffee is more than an opportunity for its employees. It's an opportunity for the mid-Missouri community to be more inclusive. 

"To be around other people that also have a disability, I think it makes them excited to see that, 'I'm different but I'm also not that different," Wilson said. "So for the community it tells me that they care, they know people matter and they want to give back."

Love Coffee is located at 15 Business Loop 70 East in Columbia and is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

More News

Grid
List
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. Previous coverage: ... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, October 01 2020 Oct 1, 2020 Thursday, October 01, 2020 6:42:00 AM CDT October 01, 2020 in News
Columbia police conclude investigation in Mengqi Ji case The Columbia Police Department concluded their part of the investigation... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, October 01 2020 Oct 1, 2020 Thursday, October 01, 2020 5:26:00 AM CDT October 01, 2020 in Top Stories
(AP) — Kansas City leaders are introducing a new four-part plan they hope will help the city reduce its burgeoning... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, September 30 2020 Sep 30, 2020 Wednesday, September 30, 2020 9:40:00 PM CDT September 30, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A bicyclist was rushed to the hospital, Wednesday, after a driver hit him and ran from the scene.... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, September 30 2020 Sep 30, 2020 Wednesday, September 30, 2020 8:49:00 PM CDT September 30, 2020 in News
(AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union is suing over a Missouri court order allowing some Kansas City area evictions... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, September 30 2020 Sep 30, 2020 Wednesday, September 30, 2020 7:55:00 PM CDT September 30, 2020 in News
ASHLAND - The Wilton Landowners Levee and Drainage Association has been waiting a year to be reimbursed for work completed... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, September 30 2020 Sep 30, 2020 Wednesday, September 30, 2020 7:36:00 PM CDT September 30, 2020 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA- The Columbia Police Department concluded their part of the investigation in regard to the Mengqi Ji case, a Columbia... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, September 30 2020 Sep 30, 2020 Wednesday, September 30, 2020 6:22:00 PM CDT September 30, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Tuesday's Presidential debate was different than years past and not just because there was no crowd in... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, September 30 2020 Sep 30, 2020 Wednesday, September 30, 2020 5:49:00 PM CDT September 30, 2020 in News
(CNN) - The Senate on Wednesday approved a stopgap spending bill in order to avert a government shutdown just hours... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, September 30 2020 Sep 30, 2020 Wednesday, September 30, 2020 5:47:04 PM CDT September 30, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia/Boone County Health Department released guidelines for trick or treating on Halloween. There are numerous activities... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, September 30 2020 Sep 30, 2020 Wednesday, September 30, 2020 5:47:00 PM CDT September 30, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- Missouri Head Football Coach Eliah Drinkwitz drew attention on Wednesday when he spoke up about the SEC's lack of... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, September 30 2020 Sep 30, 2020 Wednesday, September 30, 2020 3:33:00 PM CDT September 30, 2020 in Sports
MIDWAY - A string of burglaries and larcenies have impacted more than a dozen properties around the Midway area. ... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, September 30 2020 Sep 30, 2020 Wednesday, September 30, 2020 3:16:00 PM CDT September 30, 2020 in News
MARSHALL- Marshall Public Schools went remote Wednesday, after Superintendent Dr. Carol Maher met with her team and decided COVID-19 numbers... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, September 30 2020 Sep 30, 2020 Wednesday, September 30, 2020 1:42:00 PM CDT September 30, 2020 in News
NASHVILLE (AP) — The NFL says the Pittsburgh-Tennessee game originally scheduled for Sunday will be played either Monday or Tuesday... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, September 30 2020 Sep 30, 2020 Wednesday, September 30, 2020 12:26:34 PM CDT September 30, 2020 in Sports
(CNN) -- After a five-month battle with leukemia, the first known person to be cured of HIV has died of... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, September 30 2020 Sep 30, 2020 Wednesday, September 30, 2020 11:49:00 AM CDT September 30, 2020 in News
CENTRALIA - The sweet smells of lavender and grass hang heavily over Jason Lockwood's workshop. Lockwood and his wife... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, September 30 2020 Sep 30, 2020 Wednesday, September 30, 2020 11:30:00 AM CDT September 30, 2020 in News
SEDALIA - Pettis County Clerk Nick La Strada confirmed that at least 1,200 blank absentee ballots were reported missing Wednesday... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, September 30 2020 Sep 30, 2020 Wednesday, September 30, 2020 9:48:00 AM CDT September 30, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- The global pandemic has stress levels running high these days. "One of the first things on everyone's... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, September 30 2020 Sep 30, 2020 Wednesday, September 30, 2020 9:44:00 AM CDT September 30, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 46°
8am 47°
9am 51°
10am 56°
11am 58°