In 2016 Amy & Ben Wright opened Bitty & Beau’s Coffee in Wilmington, NC. The flagship location offered a variety of hot and cold drinks; coffees, teas, frappes, and smoothies; a selection of baked goods both sweet and savory.

The menu provided everything that one might expect, but the service offered some surprises. Bitty & Beau’s Coffee is self-described as “a human rights movement disguised as a coffee shop”, meaning that people with intellectual & developmental disabilities make up the core of the staff.

Bitty and Beau are not only the namesakes of the establishment, they’re the Wrights’ children. They’re additionally people with Down Syndrome, and the inspiration for the coffee shop, created in response to the lack of opportunities for work- in the United States, 80% of adults with Down Syndrome are unemployed. Bitty & Beau’s provides a space for challenging, fulfilling service industry jobs for those who would have difficulty securing the same elsewhere.

Following the premiere location, outposts appeared in numerous cities across the country. Now Pittsburgh has its own with Bitty & Beau’s in the Strip District. Located at 1920 Smallman, it opened this past weekend to offer employment for an underserved population and great coffee for every one.

See what they’re all about here!