CAUSE Brand Proves that Employing Special Needs Individuals is Good for Business
Owner of Northport-based Cause Café Encourages Others to Follow Her Business Model
Northport, New York – Despite the common misconception that people with special needs are difficult to manage or work with, a recent study conducted for the “Happy Tourist” project by the Leonardo da Vinci Programme in Europe found that 80 percent of hospitality employers feel that these individuals are the perfect addition to their businesses. Here in the United States, Stacey Wohl, Owner/President of CAUSE brands, which includes Our Coffee with a Cause and Cause Café in Northport, New York, has developed a business model focused primarily on employing just such individuals.
With more than 16 percent of all New York State children (age three to 21) enrolled in public schools currently being served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Ms. Wohl recognized a growing need for employment opportunities for individuals with special needs. Across the country, as many as 70 percent of special needs individuals have aged out of schools looking to find job opportunities and a learning environment to acquire real-life skills.
To address this need, Ms. Wohl, a mother of two teenagers with autism, founded Our Coffee with a Cause, an online coffee retail business, in 2012. Her mission was further realized this May, when she opened Cause Café, which integrates individuals with cognitive delays alongside their typically developing peers. The CAUSE brand businesses employs several persons with special needs, who work with job coaches across both arms of the business, including as counter persons, baristas and cleaning staff at Cause Café, as well as ‘warehouse’ employees, who help process, package and ship Our Coffee with a Cause products.
“My ultimate goal is to turn Cause Café into a franchise for other parents of individuals with special needs to help create valuable work environments for their children and other local persons living with cognitive impairments,” says Ms. Wohl. “Since opening the café, several people have already reached out to me looking to start their own Cause Café location. I am very eager to get to work on that next stage of our business, as it will only further the mission of the CAUSE brand.”
The full-service eatery offers Our Coffee with a Case brand coffee, as well as organic breakfast foods, sandwiches, salads, juices and smoothies. The Northport-based storefront houses a warehouse-like area, for processing, packaging and shipping of the Our Coffee with a Cause products and will soon offer group activities, such as high tea, yoga classes and paint nights.
To further enrich the lives of its employees and other local individuals with special needs, the CAUSE brand also offers private vocational training at Cause Café to developmentally delayed persons for a small fee outside of regular business hours. The objective of this program is to provide them with the valuable job experience necessary to finding gainful employment, whether at Cause Café or with other local businesses.
Additionally, a portion of the business proceeds from the CAUSE brand businesses benefit Our Own Place, a non-profit organization that Ms. Wohl founded to provide unique opportunities to special-needs children and their single parents. “The mission of the organization is to support businesses and other organizations that provide valuable resources to children and adults with cognitive disabilities,” she concludes.
About the CAUSE Brand Businesses
Our Coffee with a Cause was founded in 2012 in response to the growing need of special-needs individuals on Long Island who require employment opportunities and a learning environment to acquire real-life skills. The brand’s storefront location, Cause Café, was opened in April 2016. These family-owned and operated businesses provide gainful employment to those who might not otherwise have an opportunity. A portion of the business proceeds benefit Our Own Place, a non-profit organization that founded by Our Coffee with a Cause owner/president, Stacey Wohl, to provide unique opportunities to special needs children and their single parents. Today, these CAUSE brand businesses are quickly growing in popularity. For more information about Our Coffee with a Cause, visit www.ourcoffeewithacause.net. For information about Cause Café, visit www.causecafe.net.