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Dig It! Coffee Co. in downtown Las Vegas serves coffee, inclusion

Dig It! Coffee Co.
Dig It! Coffee Co./Facebook

Dig It! Coffee Co.

Many people aren’t themselves until they have that first cup of joe.  

Now there’s a downtown spot where you can get your coffee  and give a little boost to the local disabled community. It’s called Dig It! Coffee Co.

State of Nevada producer Lorraine Blanco Moss shares more in Five Minute Food Fix.

On her inspiration: her sister

Lindsey is really just the inspiration behind all of my work. She was born with Down syndrome and is just my favorite human, really her transition to adulthood was just a little bit more difficult. And I really wanted more for her, I wanted more than a daycare, more than four walls. I wanted her to continue learning and build friendships. That's kind of why I developed the Garden Foundation. Four and a half years of working with adults with disabilities ... we noticed that work and life skills were a big portion of what we were doing.

Our way to kind of start teaching those skills was pushing a coffee cart of homemade Folgers coffee down the hallway through an office building. I got to see the interactions, I got to see our people find value and purpose and competence. And I got to see the other side of that where people's hearts were opened, and they had a really great experience. We kind of have worked all the way up ... here we are at our first brick and mortar store.

On the challenge of retaining jobs as an adult with a disability

That's probably the biggest challenge as an adult with a disability is to really find not just a job, but a job that's purposeful, a job that they love, a job that they're passionate about. I noticed when I was an adult, I had all of this opportunity in front of me and I really had free choice of what I was able to do. And unfortunately, adults with disabilities just don't really have those same opportunities.

I really wanted to create a place that was outside of the standard for people with disabilities getting jobs it was It wasn't janitorial, it wasn't shredding paper. It wasn't stuffing packets, you know, it was really there. Them being included in the community and having interactions with people and competitive wages. That's important. 

On inclusivity in action

I think that's what I'm most proud of, is that people do get to see that in action. You walk through our doors and not only is it just a really positive place, but it's a place where our team works together and no one is seeing disability. No one is seeing a diagnosis. People are really just enjoying the experience and team members are working together. I want that to be the example for any local or business anywhere really is that we're all more alike than we are different.

Taylor Gardner Chaney, owner, Dig It! Coffee Co. 

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Lorraine Blanco Moss is the host of KNPR's award-winning Asian American Pacific Islander podcast, Exit Spring Mountain. She's also a former producer for State of Nevada, specializing in food and hospitality, women's issues, and sports.