A few words from our friends at Jack & The Bean: "Jack & the Bean is a group of cool friends who serve up hot coffee and other great drinks and opportunity for adults with intellectual disabilities in Huntington, West Virginia. Jack & the Bean is named after my son, Jack, the third of our five children. Jack was diagnosed with Autism at the age of two and half and ever since we have worked to bring out his precious personality and develop skills to help him succeed. From ABA therapy to brushing protocols, speech, light therapy and dietary changes Jack has grown from saying his first word at three years old to the funny, gentle giant he is today! Jack attended public school with the support of an aide through eleventh grade. His senior year he went to school and class independently while staying in the special needs classroom. Jack walked with his class in their graduation ceremony of 2022 and returned to Spring Valley to continue to work on his skills. Now public school is coming to an end. His "what's next"  is Jack & the Bean!    

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Our business started as a trial run opening a concession stand for a local play.   Jack really enjoyed meeting new people and he LOVES having a schedule.  My precious friend  Beth and my husband helped to develop the name and logo.  We filed for our business license in the spring of 2022.   We were fortunate enough that a business, WestEdge Factory, kept asking us to come back to serve drinks for their events.    Through their encouragement and support,  Jack & the Bean, grew and branched out to visit other local businesses with our coffee cart and mobile set up of more than 30 flavorings (Torani of course!!!) . We met friends at big and small jobs from serving hot chocolate and coffee to an office of 6, treating teachers for Teacher Appreciation week, and selling drinks at sporting events.   Through social media posts, the word about Jack & the Bean spread & the support kept coming &  Jack & the Bean kept growing.    We added more drinks!  Hot coffee, decaf, iced coffee, hot chocolate, lemonade, sweat tea on the menu gave our customers the options they loved.  And for our bigger events we asked several of  Jack's high school classmates to join us as guest baristas.   It was great to watch them also enjoy the thrill of learning new skills and meeting and interacting with new people.     

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Jack & the Bean received its 501c3 status the summer of 2023 with the mission of socialization and employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.  Our family was blessed by the DATS (Diversified Assessment Therapy Systems) dayhab through their work with Jack for many years.  When the dayhab fully opened after COVID, they wanted to refocus on job training skills and Jack & the Bean was thrilled to partner with them!  In September of 2023, we worked together to train 5 baristas at their dayhab and we are now open every Wednesday from 6 am - 10 am at 1404 Poplar Street in Kenova, West Virginia.  We  provide our unique experience serving coffee, hot chocolate, iced coffee and teas to all that visit us on Wednesdays and continue working at special events in the community. Torani loved Jack & the Bean's story and awarded us a grant that will enable us help us to break into the smoothie market.  You can be expecting us to serve up delicious, icy cold drinks this spring and summer! 

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To all those who have believed in and helped Jack & the Bean, coffee has been about community. Watching Jack and his barista friends beam with pride as they engage with customers will bring tears to your eyes.   Not only are our baristas building their communication skills and becoming independent as they create special coffees, but the growth in their confidence, and pure joy of making new friends is palatable.    

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Jack has been such a blessing to our family, and with the addition of his  barista friends our family has truly grown!  To all of those who have loved and supported Jack and our mission, thank you from the bottom of our hearts (and coffee cups)!  I can’t wait to see what 2024 is going to bring."