In January 2019 my wife and I opened a coffee shop in downtown Burlington, Vermont with the mission to provide meaningful jobs for people with disabilities. We opened on a closed street with the understanding the construction would be completed in 2 months. It took over a year. Our brave little shop was cut off from the City we wished to serve by open pits, chain link fences and closed sidewalks.
It was hard. But we persisted.
After then, after surviving for a year on a closed street, we had three months to consider the possibility of a successful business, COVID-19 hit.
And unlike the street closure, we have do not know if we'll ever be able to open our dining area. Or whether the business plan of a coffee shop will survive.
But we will persist.
Like millions of small businesses we looked to pivot - to find anything that we could do to save the business and keep our employees and the public safe. We had the good fortune to stumble across the opportunity to build a site on the domain name www.coffee.gay and bring our freshly roasted coffee to people everywhere.
Because, you see, before we put the first drop of paint on the wall we stated what it is our business stands for. that regardless of the color of your skin, or who you love, or how, or if, you choose to worship, you are welcome. Coffee brings people together, and the opportunity to sell great coffee and give back to foster understanding, acceptance, and respect of the LGBTQ+ community is an opportunity we could only dream of.