WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The coffee shop known as the happiest place in Wilmington is celebrating its fifth anniversary, and its reach now goes far beyond the Port City.
In 2016, Amy Wright and her husband Ben opened Bitty and Beau’s Coffee Shop with a vision. They were inspired by their two children with down syndrome.
“We saw their future and we thought about what does life look like for them after they graduate from high school?” Wright said. “So we wanted to kind of put those wheels in motion and create a place where they could work one day, create a place where others with disabilities could work.”
Since then, the coffee shop and its mission have exploded. It was named official coffee of the Rachael Ray Show and was featured nationally on Good Morning America, the Today Show, and various others.
“It’s just turned into what we like to say a human rights movement where it’s more than creating jobs for people with disabilities, it’s the experience that people have when they come in here and they walk away with this new perspective of what is possible,” Wright said.
Bitty and Beau’s now has five corporate-owned shops with a sixth set to open at nCino in Wilmington in the coming months.
“We wake up every day and pinch ourselves and thank God that everything that has happened has happened,” Wright said.
She says they’ve also sold five franchises with five more in the works.