Winston-Salem coffee shop aims to help people with disabilities be successful in any career

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WINSTON-SALEM, NC. — Moji Coffee and More has a little under a month to go until opening day, but the coffee shop already has big plans brewing.

The shop runners, who spent the last two years working to establish the shop on Trade Street in Winston-Salem, want to make sure the community and its employees are happy.

“We want people who walk in to be surprised, to be delighted and be entertained by our 'mojistas,'” said Timothy Flavin, executive director of Moji Coffee and More.

It all starts with the name of the shop. Moji is defined as the jolt of joy you get when you make somebody happy.

A $25,000 community foundation grant has allowed mojistas to be paired with some of the most qualified supervisors, people specifically trained to coach those with special needs.

“Success, for us, is seeing these folks evolve and develop and us being a pathway to their professional development,” said Charles Reitz, chairman of the shop's board.

Right now, there is about a 70% unemployment rate for people with disabilities in our community. Charles Reitz hopes opening this coffee shop will bring that number down.

“We won’t just be teaching people how to serve coffee and pastries. We’ll be teaching folks how to be employees, how to be productive and how to develop themselves,” Reitz said.

“We just want to be as different as we can, because there’s not much that’s ordinary about us,” Flavin said.

Moji Coffee and More, set to open on June 22, will also be selling artwork people in the disabled community have created. If goes as planned, the people behind the shop hope to expand the brand in other communities in the future.

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