Even in the midst of the national workforce crisis, finding job for people with disabilities has never been easy. People with special needs are developing job skills and confidence one order at a time at Navarre’s Perfect Blend Coffee Company.
Kalli Clement didn’t have to look far for inspiration for her Perfect Blend venture. She received the idea at work, in fact.
“I have an 18-year-old stepson with high-functioning autism who was given a job opportunity here at Across the Board Therapy to develop job skills and receive employment training,” she explained.
Clement, who works as a speech therapist at Across the Board in Navarre, witnessed the good effects the profession had on her stepson. She had an epiphany and wanted to create a coffee shop that provided the same feeling.
“I kind of adopted that notion of maybe giving individuals a chance who maybe couldn’t get a job anywhere and just learning how we can make those alterations, adjustments, and then seeing where they want to go,” she explained.
On Navarre Parkway, the coffee shop is next to Across the Board. There are only a few tables here, but there is a comprehensive menu of lattes, teas, and smoothies. Clement sees Perfect Blend as a stepping stone to future opportunities. She’s also collaborating with Arc Gateway and Navarre High School, which offer job coaches to people with disabilities.