Kentucky Coffee House Hires Employees with Special Needs to Bless the Community

Brewster Mcleod Sep 30, 2019 Steven

McLeod’s Coffee Shop in Lexington, Kentucky, is unique because it serves something special other than coffee. The coffee house will be a space where overlooked people can find their purposes at work.

The owner of the coffee house is a retired pastor, and he hired 50 workers, and all of them have special needs. The retired preacher, Brewster Mcleod, said the decision is not just to serve and bless people with special needs, but also the customers.

Brewster has spoken to WKYT News, and he said, “If Down syndrome or special needs make you nervous, you probably need to come in here and relax and treat them like anyone else.”

Brewster served as a pastor at Southland Christian Church for 40 years. He brewed the idea of opening a coffee house with such staff for five years.

Brewster addresses his employees as VIPs. He trained them from every position in the shop, such as cash register management and washing dishes.

The ex-pastor said, “They got joy, they got heart, they want to work.” Brewster is not just providing career opportunities for overlooked people because he’s also creating a space where people with special needs can feel cozy.

A McLeod’s employee, Megan Gaines, shared her experience with WKYT about how other entrepreneurs can learn from his employer. She said, “I’m exactly like anybody else because I can do the same things you can do. I may do things differently. We still want to have friends. We still want to do things, and we still want to go out and hang out with our friends, and do normal stuff.”

Megan also said, “There is a need for ramps or broader open spaces, more extensive public walkways, and accessible bathrooms. She said Brewster’s goal is to accommodate these needs.

Brewster expressed, “My prayer is that everyone on Southland Drive, they come over here for a good cup of coffee, hot chocolate, iced tea, diet coke, and a sandwich, and then meet Megan or they meet Jeremy and someone may stop me and say, ‘Brewster, can you tell me about Jeremy? Could he give me two hours at the gas station?”

The cafe manager at McLeod’s Coffee House, Juannell Spotts, loves how Brewster manages his cafe and how he helps people with special needs. Juannell said, “It allows me to have a place for [his sons] when they get older and need a place to work. My sons having autism, that is something I’ll be able to do”.

Brewster always cares for the community of individuals with special needs, so he launched the Jesus prom at Southland Church way back.

Brewster said, “I don’t do it for that pat on the back because that can be very addicting. I do it because I care about them, and I know that they are gifted. I just want them to know they have great value.”

The coffee shop will open in early October, and a lot of people anticipates the opening.