NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. (CBS Local) — When an autistic man couldn’t find a job, he decided to create his own place to work and opened a coffee shop.
Michael Coyne serves up coffee and sweets behind the counter at Red, White & Brew in North Smithfield, Rhode Island.
“We’ve been very busy,” he told WLNE. “It’s been fun.”
Coyne, who lives with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and bipolar, opened the coffee shop after he struggled finding a job.
“After I turned 21, I applied to multiple places. None of them would hire me,” he said.
After several attempts at employment, he grew tired of being told “no,” so he opened his own coffee shop.https://t.co/gcuXxdUsXY
— News 8 – WROC-TV (@News_8) November 26, 2019
Coyne said the rejection motivated him to take business classes at the Rhode Island Developmental Disability Center.
Armed with skills to open his own shop, Coyne opened the coffee shop about two weeks ago.
“I actually enjoy it a lot,” he said. “I thought I would hate it, but I enjoy it a lot.”
The shop quickly became a haven for other families who have children with disabilities.
“We’ve had parents come in — tears in their eyes with hope that their young people will eventually be accepted into the community,” Michael’s mother, Sheila Coyne, said.
Coyne said he eventually plans to hire others with special needs to spread the message that people with disabilities are hard workers, too.