A new ice cream shop in Lynchburg is giving opportunities to people with intellectual disabilities

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Scooping up smiles and opportunities.

A new ice cream shop in Lynchburg is making a difference by employing people with special needs.

“It’s a blessing to have a place like this,” Hunter Jarman, an employee at craveABLEs, said.

craveABLEs hires people with disabilities and teaches them job skills.

“It helps people with disabilities find employment because it’s hard for us to find employment,” Jarman said.

Taylor Perkins, the founder of craveABLEs, has been a special education teacher at the high school level for several years but wanted to help more.

“I decided, let’s open up something that the community can come into, they can see all of their amazing abilities while we have support staff alongside them to support them,” Perkins said.

Jarman started working at craveBALEs about a month ago.

He says his favorite part is working as the cashier.

“Because I get to interact with people when they first come in,” Jarman said.

And so far, it’s been a hit craveABLEs new store opened this weekend and brought in hundreds of people.

“I’m excited to be here and get to know the workers, it’s more than just ice cream you know,” Jessica Yelle, a customer said.

“We are a nonprofit, 501C3, since we have so many staff members to help, we have support staff and able employees, the cost of employment is kind of expensive on our end, so we need customers and the community to keep our doors open,” Perkins said.

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