NORTH MANCHESTER — Grow Wabash County is joining Arc Wabash County in celebrating the grand opening of the Travel Bee Coffee House in North Manchester with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 10.
The ceremony starts at 9:30 a.m. at the coffee house at 101 E. Second St. Following the ceremony, guests will be invited to meet the Travel Bee team and staff as well as enjoy some of the refreshments from their menu.
Travel Bee Coffee House, which will serve coffee and baked goods to the community, will be a space for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities to learn and grow transferable workplace skills and knowledge to any job or career of their own choosing in the local labor market.
“It is important to the vitality of any community that people with disabilities are included in all the benefits and opportunities that come with civic life, including employment,” Arc Wabash County President and CEO Jeff Patton said. “Research demonstrates that companies who hire people with disabilities have higher revenues, greater profit margins and richer workplace culture, and yet people with disabilities are unemployed and under-employed two and half times greater than people who do not have disabilities. The Arc Wabash County is excited to offer this space for job training and permanent employment for people with disabilities within the context of superior coffee products and exemplary customer service. Travel Bee Coffee House will be ‘coffee with a mission.’”
The establishment of the coffee shop is one of the initiatives being launched by Arc Wabash County to explore opportunities related to expanding accessibility in the workplace for individuals of all abilities. This larger plan, funded in part by grant monies from the AWS Foundation, includes growing the Arc in terms of its staff and program offerings to better suit the needs and goals of their clients as well as the goals of employers in Wabash County.
“Organizations like Arc Wabash County are an incredibly important asset in the work we are doing countywide to grow our communities,” Grow Wabash County President and CEO Keith Gillenwater said. “We are excited to see Arc provide more opportunities, like the Travel Bee Coffee House, to further develop our workforce and make Wabash County a place where everyone can learn, work and ultimately thrive.”
The Travel Bee Coffee Shop gets its name from famed North Manchester resident, Mary Travelbee, who joined the circus in her teenage years before returning home to her roots in North Manchester.