An Atlanta-area car dealership has opened an onsite cafe that provides employment for individuals with autism. The grand opening of “Cafe Blends” is today at the Nalley Lexus of Roswell dealership.
For the past month, Nalley Lexus and the Tommy Nobis Center — a nonprofit that provides work placement and education services for individuals with disabilities — have provided barista training to three individuals on the autism spectrum, while educating dealership employees about autism and how to help smoothly integrate the new baristas with dealership staff.
“The response so far from the employees and customers regarding our new baristas has been overwhelming,” said Chris Dastou, general manager at Nalley Lexus-Roswell. “We thought we were helping to change their lives, but really, they have changed ours.”
Nalley Lexus-Roswell is the first dealership within Asbury Automotive Group to open Café Blends. Asbury plans to scale the concept to other dealerships in the near future, starting in Atlanta.