Inspired by a Chicago nonprofit coffee roasting company that provides jobs for people with developmental disabilities, a Westminster, Md., man recently started a specialty coffee business with his daughter, who has Down syndrome.
Dave Baldwin started Furnace Hill Coffee with his 37-year-old daughter, Erin, after numerous attempts to find other work for here were fruitless, according to a recent Westminster Patch report. The Baldwins launched the roasting business after discovering Aspire, a nonprofit dedicated to providing work for people with disabilities. One of the group’s main initiatives is Aspire CoffeeWorks, a partnership with Metropolis Coffee Company.
“Jim Kales is the guy who is the CEO of Aspire, and he started a not-for-profit coffee roasting business where developmentally disabled individuals work,” Baldwin told the Patch. “When I saw this, it got me to thinking. I thought if they can do it in Chicago, I can do it in Maryland.”
The Baldwins, along with Lia Moore, a graduate student majoring in mental health counseling whom the pair found on Facebook, now us a gas-powered coffee roaster to produce and sell approximately 100 pounds of organic coffee per week, according to the report.
“Each bag of coffee we sell, we give $1 to an organization that works with developmentally disabled orphan boys in the Ukraine,” Baldwin said. “Each pound of our Telunas blend we sell, we give $1 to community development in Southeast Asia.”