North Central News

Coffee shop partners with co-working space

Beneficial Beans, a social enterprise initiative of Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC), is partnering with CO+HOOTS, a co-working community in Phoenix, to create a 5-month pop-up boutique dedicated to helping social enterprises succeed.

Sarah Sanchez (right) with Beneficial Beans–a social enterprise of Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center–helps customer Justine Sponder while Rhonda LaBatt, far left, enjoys her hot drip coffee while chatting with her daughter, Savina (photo by Teri Carnicelli).

Beneficial Beans & Boutique has opened in CO+HOOTS’ downtown location at 1027 E. Washington St. It is a one-stop shop for mission-oriented products. The boutique also features SARRC’s unique Beneficial Beans Café, offering customers the chance to purchase coffee and food items, where all proceeds benefit adults with autism.

“We had a coffee provider here previously, but they moved,” explains Jenny Poon, co-founder of CO+HOOTS. “So when we were looking to replace them, we thought, why not put something in that is more impactful?”

She got in touch with Kate Thoene, Social Enterprise director at SAARC, and the timing couldn’t have been better. Due to storm damages incurred at Burton Barr Central Library in June, the Beneficial Beans Café situated in the library was forced to close until summer 2018. Now, it has a new—if temporary—home downtown. Beneficial Beans will be in the CO+HOOTS space until February 2018.

SARRC’s Beneficial Beans Café is a social enterprise that provides training opportunities for adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) through internships. “They learn basic employment skills, such as how to dress properly and how to communicate with customers, as well as technical skills—in this case, how to be a barista,” Thoene explains.

Beneficial Beans offers a full espresso menu, fresh-brewed coffee, fresh-baked pastries, snacks, salads and sandwiches. Coffee shop hours are 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday. However, look for the shop to be open in the evenings on First Fridays, since it’s directly off the light rail.

Beneficial Beans and CO+HOOTS are currently seeking product companies with a purpose to be featured in the pop-up shop located on 11th and Washington streets. For more information about the pop-up, head to http://bit.ly/copopup.

 

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