Not Just a Coffee Shop: Perky Planet Coffee Starts a New Social Revolution for People with IDD


Burlington, VT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/07/2018 --Perky Planet Coffee is building a new social revolution for people with disabilities. The Burlington, Vermont-based coffee shop is challenging perceptions by providing meaningful, competitively paid jobs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Perky Planet Coffee is the vision of Richard Vaughn, CPCU, ARM, AIs; Christine Vaughn, special needs educator; Taylor Bolin, M.Ed, special needs educator; and Dr. David Hindin, practicing surgeon and founder of "Invented Magazine."

According to co-founder Richard Vaughn, "It all started when I suffered a spinal cord injury that resulted in paralysis. Eighteen months of inpatient and outpatient physical therapy have truly opened my eyes to the needs of people with disabilities."

In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that only 20 percent of people with disabilities participated in the labor force in 2016. Perky Planet Coffee aims to brew incredible employment opportunities for these individuals on the premise that inclusion should be celebrated. "Diversity is a fact, but inclusion is a choice. We choose to be inclusive," states Vaughn.

The intent of Perky Planet Coffee is to provide tools that the typical coffee shop would not invest in. These will include super-automatic espresso machines, point-of-sale systems that eliminate the need for change, grinders that weigh, grind, and dose automatically, and coffee roasters that can replicate profiles (recipes) automatically. The result is quality coffee products that call for very limited manipulation from employees.

Furthermore, the coffee shop will be sample-roasting specialty coffees from women coffee producers including La Morena, from the farms of Karin Hernandez, Celeste Fumagalli, and Jovita Castillo.

"By employing individuals with disabilities, Perky Planet Coffee succeeds in increasing their financial independence, building jobs and career skills, and providing unique teaching and learning opportunities," furthered Vaughn. "Individuals with IDD should not lead lives in isolation. We want to overcome the barriers to employment faced by our neighbors with disabilities and provide a one-of-a-kind experience to customers at the same time. Perky Planet Coffee is not just a coffee shop — it's a social revolution disguised as one."

An Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign has been started to raise funds, spread the word about the initiative, and make Perky Planet Coffee possible. More information will follow.