Dreamers Coffee House in Cordova perfectly reflects the mission of owner Diane Grove.
“With every purchase you make,” said Grove, “you are bringing us one step closer to our dream of hiring individuals of all abilities.”
Last March, Grove handed out jam on World Down Syndrome Day in honor of her daughter, MaryEllen, who has Down syndrome.
“This is a small part of who MaryEllen is,” Grove said. “It is the part of her that brought me into the world of disabilities, as a parent.”
In recent years, Grove said she has learned about the employment rate for individuals with disabilities.
“It is said that only 17 percent of individuals with a disability are hired in the work place,” she noted. “There are many reasons for this number, which I hope to share over time.”
Meaningful work with fair wages is an important part of the shared human experience, Grove said.
“Hearing this statistic,” she said, “and realizing that we have a lot of work to do, before my daughter is old enough to hold a job, led me to talk about this issue and support those who are helping to change this statistic.”
So, on World Down Syndrome Day, Grove wanted to support a business that employs individuals of all abilities, and especially employs individuals who have a disability.
The Germantown Area Chamber of Commerce recently held a ribbon cutting for Dreamer’s Coffee, located inside Vantage Point Golf Center at 9580 Macon Road.
“This is why I handed out Steamers Jam, with love, from MaryEllen,” she said. “After I gave away the first case of jam, I was contacted by friends and family, asking if they could have more. This time, they offered to pay me what I paid for it. The entire case sold out very quickly.”
Grove was asked if she would sell more. So she bought another case.
“As you can imagine, the same thing happened,” she said. “Soon I was being asked to create baskets for gifts. These were turning out so nicely, I decided to put together some baskets to raise money for the Down Syndrome Association of Memphis.”
She began looking for a premium coffee to go in the baskets.
“I met with a local coffee roaster John Pitman, of J. Brooks,” she noted. “Their coffee is absolutely amazing. I asked John, one of the owners, if he was interested in donating coffee for the baskets.
“One thing lead to another,” she continued, “and we began talking about a coffee blend that could be my very own. One that I could sell to raise awareness of the low numbers of individuals that are employed, who have a disability. This blend could perhaps help me to employ individuals of all abilities.”
Dreamers Coffee House was born.
It started out online, and the dream of a brick and mortar location recently came true.
“We would also like to create jobs for individuals of all abilities in Memphis,” Grove said. “We are dreaming. I do not know exactly where this dream will take us, but the dream has started.”