New Columbia coffee shop to hire people with disabilities

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COLUMBIA - A coffee shop coming to the Business Loop in Columbia will employ people on the autism spectrum and others who might struggle to land a job. 

In 2017, Chuck Crews came up with the idea for Love Coffee. Crews then brought the idea to non-profit Love INC's team. Together they spent the next two years working to put the plan of opening a coffee shop into action. 

Love Coffee will be its own non-profit. 

Love INC's co-founder, Jane Williams, said in a video promoting Love Coffee, they listened to neighbors and took phone calls about what people in the community needed. She said they were told finding a job was the number one issue.

"People with disabilities have always had double-digit unemployment rates," Williams said.

She said she wants to provide a place for people to have a wonderful work environment. Williams began the search for people to help and was introduced to Micah Baker. Baker will be the food service manager and baker at Love Coffee.

"I personally just instantly fell in love with just that (Love Coffee) vision. I've always known that there would be some sort of a way to help individuals," said Baker.

The shop will be next door to the Love Seat also affiliated with Love INC. The Love Seat sells gently-used household goods and furniture.

The coffee shop is set to open in Jan. 2020.

If you are interested in applying to work, volunteer, or donate to Love Coffee you can message the business on its Facebook page.

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