New coffee shop aims to improve employment rates within the disabled community


Kelly Haggerty '23

Coffee for Good, founded by Mrs. Deb Rogan, is opening in early 2021 in Greenwich, CT.

A new coffee shop in Greenwich, Connecticut, Coffee for Good, has a unique business approach.  Opening in 2021, Coffee for Good will provide employment opportunities for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Sacred Heart Greenwich students sophomores Ines Araujo, Delfina Gonzalez-Lobo, Olivia Caponiti, and juniors Lydia Fullerton and Gigi Pascal volunteer and fundraise for this cause.

The coffee shop will open at the Mead House in Greenwich.  Courtesy of Mr. Robert Marchant

Founded by Mrs. Deb Rogan, Coffee for Good’s main goal is to decrease the unemployment rate for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Mrs. Rogan hopes to fulfill the mission of improving the lives of those with disabilities, as well as becoming a self-sustaining nonprofit coffee shop that serves as a warm and inclusive community gathering place.  Coffee for Good is a part of a nationwide trend, which over the last five years has opened 30 shops in 22 states according to

After working at the coffee shop for six to 12 months and receiving training from Abilis job coaches, employees of Coffee for Good gain the skills and experience necessary to find other jobs in the future.  The employees will learn the different parts of the job, including working the register and serving customers.

The unemployment rate for adults with intellectual disabilities is almost twice as high compared to the rate for those without disabilities.  Only 44 percent of adults with an intellectual disability are in the labor force, in contrast to the 83 percent of working adults without disabilities, according to

The location of Coffee for Good, the Mead House in Greenwich, is currently undergoing structural renovations, which includes a new back entrance with a wheelchair lift.  The construction of the coffee shop, including a barista bar, will commence after they finish the renovations of the building.

Coffee for Good’s teen board meets in Greenwich October 25.  Olivia Caponiti ’23

In order to facilitate its opening, Coffee for Good has an adult and a teen board.  The teen board helps to make a difference by publicizing, fundraising, and raising awareness.  Ines and Delfina, co-vice presidents of the Coffee for Good teen board, work with the adult board to ensure everything is prepared in time for the opening.

“The adult board focuses on the bigger issues being finances, renovating the church which is to turn into the coffee shop, and legal permits,” Ines said.  “The teen board works to get publicity out, fundraise, partnering up with schools and other charities, and organize events.”

Lydia and Gigi, co-heads of the Coffee for Good Club at Sacred Heart, are also members of the teen board.

“One thing about our community, Greenwich, that is commonly overlooked is our unemployment gap,” Lydia said.  “This non-profit is an amazing training platform and offers disabled members of our community the opportunity to join the workforce.”

Featured Image by Kelly Haggerty ’23