The Two Café & Boutique isn’t your ordinary coffee shop. Opened in January 2015 by Shari Hunter, this local café has a greater purpose- providing real, integrated, work experience for individuals with disabilities.
Shari’s son Derek.
When Shari was told that Derek was born with Down syndrome, she made the conscious decision to raise him without limits or labels, to never underestimate what he would be able to do. “He has never ceased to amaze me”, Shari says.
Now married with a college degree from Kent State University, Derek has proved to everyone that the root of his “disability” is his “ability” to break down barriers and inspire others to do the same.
For many, the Two Café & Boutique is the first step in a journey to integration. The Two Foundation, also founded by Shari Hunter, serves individuals 16+ with mild to moderate exceptionalities and aims to fill the gap for these young people who are left unemployed. Each person begins working at the Two Café, receiving job training, coaching, and mentoring to prepare them for other employment opportunities. By assessing their skills, strengths, and interests, the Two Foundation can then place individuals in jobs at other organizations where they can achieve success.
Breakfast and lunch are served every Tuesday-Sunday from 8 AM – 3 PM and seasonal menus are decided on by Shari and the staff. But that’s not all- events such as the “Breakfast Social Club”, the “Young Entrepreneurs Integrated Camp”, and benefits and fundraisers are hosted at the Café throughout the year, engaging the community and empowering young people with exceptionalities.
Although the Two Café has grown and evolved, the vision remains true to this day: “to create a neighborhood place, where individuals with mild to moderate exceptionalities would be job trained, coached and placed into a fully integrated work setting.”
Featured on outlets like The Today Show, New Day Cleveland, Today’s Family Magazine, and 99.5 The Fish, The Two Café hopes to inspire other organizations to make efforts to bridge the gap of disability unemployment in their own communities. “I hope to make Cleveland a shining example as to how we can meet the need of transitioning individuals out of high school and into the local workforce in a fully integrated way,” Shari says, “We have been privileged to serve some amazing job seekers, their continuing success in their community jobs continue to inspire us.”
To learn more about The Two Café & Boutique or The Two Foundation, visit their website at http://twocafeandboutique.com/ or visit the Café at 8578 E Washington St, Chagrin Falls, OH 44023.