New Coffee Shop Plans to Employ People with Special Needs

Vinny & Bay's Coffee Shop

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - A new coffee shop in downtown Panama City is brewing up more than cups of coffee, it's brewing opportunity. However you like your coffee, you're sure to get it with a smile at Vinny & Bay's Coffee Shop and Eatery on 4th and Harrison in Panama City. Madeline Lovejoy,19,  and Baylee Hanson, 21, met four years ago at school.

"She just looked like a good person to be friends with," said Madeline. 

That friendship has grown into something much bigger...a business. 

"I know that there aren't many opportunities for people with special needs so I wanted to find something for them and we didn't have any coffee shops on Harrison Avenue so I thought it would be a good fit," said Madeline.

Inspired by Baylee, Madeline plans to hire people who have unique abilities to serve up some inspiration.

"I'm excited to show the community just how capable all of my friends are and hopefully more businesses will catch on and do the same thing," said Madeline.

Baylee's mother Kathy says this opportunity is one that cannot be passed up.

"I know she's safe, I know it's a good environment...you know just a piece of mind and I know she is really going to grow from it too," said Kathy.

And so will customers. 

"She is just precious. A heart of gold. She lives in the moment and we can learn so much from that," said Kathy.

And she can prove that people like her are just like everybody else.

"They are typical normal young adults that want the same things that others want," said Kathy.

They will open in the next few weeks. 

The name Vinny comes from another friend of Madeline's who has autism. They plan to work with the Arc of the Bay for employment needs. 

 

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