BETHLEHEM, Pa. - A franchise based in Wilmington, North Carolina will soon warm hearts and bellies here in the Lehigh Valley.
Bitty and Beau's Coffee is a chain of shops employing people with disabilities. Their seventh franchise is opening in Bethlehem.
It all started with Amy Wright and the vision she had for her own children's future, for Bitty and Beau, who both have Down Syndrome.
"We didn't want our kids to grow up with such a bleak future and wanted to do something about that and create a place where people with disabilities could earn a living and save for their future and find a place where they felt like they belonged," Wright said.
Turns out a whole lot of people found their belonging behind the counter.
The chain will employ 250 people with disabilities by the end of the year, with 20 being employed in Bethlehem.
"The community support has been overwhelming. We've gotten tons of messages on Facebook and Instagram and emails. I can tell the streets of Bethlehem are going to have to shut down for our grand opening because everybody's going to be there," Wright said.
Two families, whose daughters appeared in the announcement video, will manage the new location. The site's location is yet to be determined.
Wright says she never expected her dream would reach these heights, but she's glad it has.
"We feel incredibly blessed that this journey is changing lives," Wright said.