Bitty & Beau's Coffee Bethlehem

Sean, Emily and Allie are among the employees at the newest location of Bitty & Beau's Coffee in Bethlehem.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – A long line of excited patrons and supporters wrapped around Broad Street Saturday morning as Bitty & Beau's Coffee celebrated its grand opening in Bethlehem with a ribbon-cutting event.

"We knew that from the moment we announced that the shop was going to open in Bethlehem that it was going to be huge; it was going to be the perfect spot," said co-founder Amy Wright to the crowd of a few hundred people. "This morning was just affirmation of that."

"From one mom to another, we do what we do for our children. It matters," she added. "We want the world to see their value, we want them to be included and accepted, and Bitty & Beau's Coffee is the place for that."

Each member of the new location's staff was introduced and walked out the shop entrance to be greeted by applause and cheers from hundreds of friends, family and community members gathered around the store at 74 W. Broad St.

The store's general manager offered a blessing for the shop and its employees just before the doors officially opened and customers started filtering in. 

Named after their two youngest children with Down syndrome, the Bitty & Beau brand was first launched by Ben and Amy Wright in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 2016 to change the way people see people with disabilities — especially in the workplace.

"80% of people with disabilities are unemployed," Amy Wright said, "so by opening Bitty & Beau's Coffee shops, employing people with disabilities, we hope that every guest that comes through the doors sees the potential and perhaps goes back to their place of business and hires somebody with a disability, too."

Since its inception, the Wright family has franchised its brand with a total of 23 stores across the United States that employ hundreds of people with disabilities.

While the Bethlehem store is the first in Pennsylvania, the founders say they plan to open others in the state.

"Bitty & Beau's Coffee has created a path for people with disabilities to become valued, accepted and included in every community," Amy Wright said. "We've said it from the start — it's more than just a cup of coffee."

Visit the Bitty & Beau's Coffee website to learn more.

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