La Colombe perks up its business with JCHAI

Collaboration allows adults with developmental disabilities to work in coffee shop

Paul Kurtz
June 05, 2018 - 6:23 pm

Holli Stephens | KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — An organization that empowers adults with developmental disabilities is partnering with a local coffee chain in a program that teaches members the ins and outs of the coffee business. 

Trevor Marsh was the first volunteer to get his hands on the equipment at La Colombe's coffee lab.  

"I'm learning how to make espresso and cappuccino," he said. "I need more step-by-step instructions to be able to do the lead thing on the cappuccino."

If all goes according to plan, early next year the 34-year-old Marsh will be moving on from his job as a supermarket shopping cart collector to work in a coffee shop run exclusively by members of Judith Creed Horizons for Achieving Independence, or JCHAI.  

Creed struck up a partnership with La Colombe to teach staff members and students how to run the coffee shop that will be part of a soon-to-be built education center.

"On campus, they'll get retail training on all kinds of things," she said. "Some people will be trained on how to run a business and inventory. Other people may be trained how to clean tables and wait on customers."

La Colombe has agreed to provide the equipment, training and maintenance at no cost.