PFAFFTOWN, N.C. (WGHP) — Jake Tharpe defied all odds to become a successful entrepreneur by opening up his own business: Jakes Coffee and Candles. It has quickly become a hit among locals.

Born with Down Syndrome, Tharpe had worked odd jobs his whole life but had always wanted to become his own boss. Three weeks ago, he blended two of his passions–coffee and candles–and opened up his own business.

After his older brother passed away, Tharpe was reminded of the advice his brother always gave him: “be yourself.”

Tharpe set a goal close to his heart and created his own business to show that people with disabilities can also run a successful business.

“Watching when people come in and order coffee makes me feel like I’m doing something,” Tharpe said.

Tharpe’s father Craig said his son is as independent as they come.

“I’ve had as much input as he will let me…I just let him do his thing,” he said.

The support Jake and his father have received from the community has been overwhelming, and the business has decided to open on Saturdays in the near future.

Currently, Jakes Coffee and Candles is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is located at 8331 Reynolda Road in Pfafftown, and you can visit the business on Facebook.