There's this new coffee shop in town named Bitty and Beau's and today I had the pleasure of trying their oat milk pumpkin spice latte. If you are not familiar, Bitty and Beau's is a coffee shop located in Bethlehem, PA and their motto is "Changing the way people see other people." It's actually a franchise but this is the first time I have heard of a coffee shop that lit my soul up the way this place did. I lied. There's a coffee shop that opened recently in Damascus, Syria (I saw it on IG) that employs people with Down Syndrome. Yeah, wait. This coffee shop employs people with Down Syndrome and other disabilities. Did I forget to mention that part? Yeah, that's important.
I don't know exactly why I was so emotional, but they had a bunch of merchandise on display right when you walk in and I noticed a t-shirt that said "Leave doubt at the door" amongst other inspirational messages. I feel we can all learn a thing or two about life from these bubbly baristas. The human spirit is resilient- and thankfully, so is the power of God in people. If you've ever had the great pleasure of knowing someone with Down Syndrome, you'd know the extent to which our human capacity is able to hold love. It's easy to understand love from someone who is conventionally attractive and falls snugly within the confines of societal norms. People with disabilities tap into a very delicate and nurturing part of the human psyche. We are naturally, then, inclined to see people for their soul as opposed to what they can offer us. We are forced to confront our own vulnerability and learn to be sensitive to the vulnerability of others.
Bitty and Beau's is offering an opportunity for people with disabilities to be active and contributing members of society. They promote autonomy for those that have been marginalized by the limitations of human nature. They instill hope for all people, not just those with disabilities. I was teary eyed just walking into there. (I wear my heart on my sleeve so this is not uncommon.) A sense of excitement filled my spirit. I received the warmest hello and welcome. People flock for miles to support an organization or business that keeps humanity at the forefront of their business. I'd like to coin the term "conscious capitalism". I don't know if that term already exists but I am going to use it in this case. Take alllllll my money Bitty and Beau's.
I love this place. Seriously. I love this place and its coffee and the message they send. Their website says "not just coffee, but an experience"- which I can absolutely attest to. An experience, it was. There are not a lack of coffee shops in this area, but none quite like this. The atmosphere was warm and sophisticated. They offered a large sitting area and a beautiful world map mural painted onto the wall that allows its patrons to place a pin on their hometown/country.
I really don't want to turn this blog post into a long, drawn out soap opera but I truly believe we all get so caught up in our day to day lives that we forget what it's like for those not living in our reality. I also don't want to use this as a plug to "be thankful" because that's tacky and insensitive. I do, however, wish you all make a trip out to this coffee shop. Or if you have one that features a noble mission such as this one, check them out. Give them your business. Promote their brand. Embrace inclusiveness. Be a part of the movement. We are all just walking each other Home.