Valley mom set to open coffee shop run by individuals with special needs

SURPRISE, Ariz. (FOX 10) - A Surprise woman is making her dream a reality by opening a coffee shop that will be run and operated by individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

It might not look like much now, but Karin York has big plans for a space in Surprise.

"Our vision is just to be just a booming coffee shop and bistro," said Karin York creator of Spencer's Place.

It's going to be named after her son Spencer, who has special needs. This is something York, who has been a special needs teacher for 16 years, has always wanted to do, but is now making a reality.

"We are opening a coffee shop, it will be sponsored by our non-profit which will employ individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities," says York.

She plans to employ some of her former students.

"We want to promote inclusion in the workforce," explained York.

"Almost 85 of individuals like Spencer are unemployed and that's ridiculous," said Robert Thornton with Paper Clouds Apparel.

Robert Thornton is the founder of Paper Clouds Apparel, a t-shirt company that gives back to organizations and projects that sponsor individuals with special needs.

"Every two weeks we team up with a different special needs cause and when I heard about Spencer's Place, I was like we have to team up," explained Thornton.

Spencer has created a few or the works of art on the shirts. A majority of the proceeds will go towards York's dream of opening this coffee shop so people like her son can enter the workforce, and where residents of Surprise can experience some of the best coffee made by some incredible people.

Click here for more information about Spencer's Place.

Click here for more information about Paper Clouds Apparel.