Coffee shop dedicated to helping those with developmental disabilities reopens
A coffee shop in Burlington County that is dedicated to helping those with developmental disabilities reopened Thursday after closing down for the pandemic.
“The inside of the coffee shop is very small. We didn’t want to take any chances, so we decided to close until the coast is clear,” says Brandi Fishman of Breaking Grounds in Mount Holly.
Breaking Grounds is the brainchild of the Zefer Foundation, a nonprofit group that employs adults with developmental disabilities.
Fishman says that the day they closed, the coffee shop went into the red financially, and the employees were left jobless.
“I felt really bad for my employees because they have anxiety and they’re a change in routine that is really difficult as it is for all of us, so I was worried about how that was going to affect them,” she says.
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The Zefer Foundation reached out to the community to keep Breaking Grounds in business, gathering $25,000 in donations to stay afloat.
“The community felt very strongly that they wanted us to continue our work and stay open, so we’re just so touched. Everybody rallied together,” Fishman says.
Many customers stopped by on Thursday to say hi and to try the new takeout window. Fishman says that all nine of her employees also returned back to work.
“It’s just as important for the employees to have some kind of social outlet and to get out of the house, to have something else to do or something else to think about,” says Fishman. “They become friends with our customers, even friends on Facebook. They were so happy to get back to that routine and see some familiar faces.”
The Zefer Foundation is getting ready to launch their second Breaking Grounds location at Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine in Sewell next spring.