Some of us can’t start our day without it, but one View Royal business is taking coffee and turning it into inclusive employment opportunities.
A Kinder Cup employs Kindness Mentors to help guide Kindness Ambassadors who are living with disabilities.
“The reason for the business… is to just be a community hub where people can come together of all different walks and interests and come and have a place to meet and just leave all their problems at the door,” said owner Kim Dufort.
About one in five Canadians age 15 and over are living with a disability, and they often face higher unemployment and poverty rates.
Kim worked with adults living with disabilities before getting her business diploma, she then took both experiences to bring about an amazing change.
“She wanted to make something that was valuable for the community and with her background with people with disabilities, she says why don’t we do this… it was just happening that I was about to retire from the navy after 36 years and I said the timing was right,” said Kim’s husband and co-owner Marc.
Greg Hind will start working on Tuesday and says he cannot wait.
“I am excited to come over… it’s going to be a new experience for me…. and my title is going to be an ambassador of Kindness,” said Hind.
When asked if he has faced difficulties finding employment Hind says it has been hard at moments.
“It can be [difficult]… but this one is really good… coming here and interacting with the customers, and getting them coffee… I’m looking forward to that.
Deanna Bianchin is another ambassador and says the experience has been great, and the mentors are always kind.
“It is fun, they are very friendly and very helpful, I like interacting with customers and working with a team,” she said.
The mentors say every day they come in and love the work they do.
“I love that the whole idea of the cafe is kindness and inclusivity and I think that having that sort of place where everybody can be kind to each other and equal is really nice.”
Only just over a month old, the business has been a success.
“They are some of the most dedicated staff you can possibly find and as long as they love coming to their job and feeling like they are contributing to the team then they’ll keep coming back,” said Kim.
So if you’re ever looking to make that morning cup go a little further, the door here is always open.