Mackenzie Edinger recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a teaching degree. But rather than becoming a teacher, she plans to start a business that will employ people with special needs.
The business is to be a coffee shop called The Inclusion Coffee Company. Her staff, she believes, will be the secret ingredient in her coffee shop. “I’m really excited to get those doors open and have people come in here and see what amazing things that they can do.”
Jack Ryan, whom she babysat for two summers, will be her first hire. “I just feel like he will be a great asset here.” To begin, she intends to hire at least 20 persons with special needs.
The 23-year-old recently earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood and special education, but she intends to put her teaching abilities to work behind a cafe counter. As for her employees, she says “they are going to be working in customer service skills and making the coffee and the food for our community.”
Jack’s father sees it as a great opportunity for his son. “I really feel fortunate, as a parent, that someone like this was brought into his life. A parent’s dream come true. I think he’ll be able to get on a first name basis with a lot of customers over time.”
This is an opportunity for 19-year-old Jack to make his own money and gain more independence.
Even their logo shows inclusion – in the “people” huddled around the company’s name.
The Inclusion Coffee Company intends to open in March of next year.