ROANOKE, Va. – Chris’s Coffee and Custard will open its doors in Roanoke come October, but most importantly, the coffee shop is serving up opportunity.
When you walk into the shop, Chris Woodrum will greet you with a smile and his hospitality, which is as warm as the drinks he’ll help serve.
The building on 9th Street in Roanoke has come a long way.
Chris and his mom Beth, have worked over the years to turn it into a cafe with a purpose.
“I thought I needed to do something for Chris, so when he graduates from high school he would have a place to go and work,” said Beth.
She didn’t want to just provide a place for her son to work, but his friends as well.
“There’s some businesses that will hire young adults with special abilities, but it’s usually not long-term,” Beth said.
She created the business and an entire job training program for people with special abilities.
“My vision for this in the beginning was just to have a place where they felt comfortable and belonged and they were part of the community,” Beth said.
“I want my friends to come work with me at my coffee shop place,” said Chris.
That “coffee shop place” is brewing up a plan that creates a path to a better future for employees.
You may be wondering how you can show support besides coming in and getting a cup of coffee or some custard once the shop opens.
Currently, you can purchase a brick, personalize it, and it will be laid on the walkway entering the shop.
When you walk through the front door and onto Chris’s red carpet, know that you’re not just buying a hot or cold treat, but investing in someone’s future.
“It’s my dream come true,” said Chris.