Esteamed Coffee in Downtown Cary will be a place for different abilities

If you’ve walked around Downtown Cary recently, you may have noticed a sign up on Academy Street announcing a new coffee shop, Esteamed Coffee. 

While the coffee shop won’t open up until early November, you’ll likely see work starting there soon. Raleigh Convergence asked the cofounders about the project.

Esteamed Coffee exterior on Academy Street in Downtown Cary.

Raleigh Convergence: Tell me about the concept of the business. What will you offer? How will you be working with people with different abilities?

Esteamed Coffee, Inc. is a nonprofit business whose mission is to integrate employees with various disabilities and our community at large in such a way that the lives of all are enriched through their fellowship in a warm, welcoming environment. 

We will specifically be hiring individuals with visual impairments, intellectual/developmental disabilities, and/or communication deficits due to stroke. 

For those employees with communication deficits who are receiving ongoing speech-language therapy elsewhere, we will integrate their therapy goals into their workplace environment — an approach called the Life Participation Approach to therapy. 

We will be serving hot and cold beverages (coffee, teas, smoothies, and other cold specialty drinks), baked goods (both regular and gluten free), as well as selling art work and gift items made by individuals with disabilities in our community. 

We will be providing a month-long job training for our employees before opening.  Our employees will also continue to receive ongoing supportive coaching as needed after opening.

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RC: Share more about who’s behind the project.

Angie Hudson and Tamara Lapsley are the cofounders of Esteamed Coffee, Inc,. and have known each other for over 24 years. Angie developed a visual disability while in college at UNC-Chapel Hill which has impacted her life ever since, so she understands what it is like to have difficulty finding a job due to a disability. 

Tamara Lapsley also graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and has worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist for over 35 years. She has a passion for working with adults and children who have communication deficits. 

Our Board is made up of wonderful people in our community who have experience with disabilities and a passion to see their lives enhanced:  Maura Silverman, our Secretary and founder of her own nonprofit — Triangle Aphasia Project, Unlimited; Christy Teague, who has experience in event planning and fundraising; and Kirby Barbour — a parent of a child with autism, our Board Treasurer, and works at Parker-Lord Corporation.  We are all passionate about enhancing the lives of those with disabilities and integrating them into our local community!

Get connected: esteamedcoffee.com

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