Livonia café provides employment for people with disabilities, celebrates one year anniversary

It was only a year ago when Anastasia and Katie’s Coffee Shop & Café was celebrating its grand opening with giveaways and a ribbon-cutting ceremony from its then-new Livonia home.

And what a year it has been.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated restrictions on business have hampered the Livonia coffee shop just like they have hampered many a Michigan business. Anastasia and Katie’s was able to find a way to make it work, staying open by adding online ordering to its new website and installing plexiglass partitions and an air purifier.

This isn’t your average coffee shop. Anastasia and Katie’s makes hiring people with developmental disabilities an integral part of its mission. Because of their continued sales and help from some key donors, café employees have been able to keep their jobs throughout the pandemic.

“I am overwhelmed with emotion as we celebrate our first year of operations at Anastasia and Katie’s Coffee Shop & Cafe. In an unbelievably challenging year, our community has lifted us up,” says Kelly Rockwell, cofounder, and president of the coffee shop’s parent nonprofit, Mi Work Matters.

“Our patrons, donors, and employees have united in our mission of inclusion and opportunity for all.”

Dubbed the “One-Year of Opportunity and Inclusion for ALL” celebration, this weekend will feature a specialty birthday drink on the menu and special giveaways each day, beginning Thursday, Jan. 14, and ending Saturday, Jan. 16.

The coffee shop is also debuting its Boxed Lunch Giving Program. Individuals and organizations can sponsor a breakfast or lunch package for members of the community. The coffee shop suggests health care workers, teachers, food pantry volunteers, and first responders as some of the occupations one might find deserving of the program.

Marissa Marzec, barista, trying one of the new smoothie drinks“I am responsible and passionate about working at Anastasia and Katie’s Coffee Shop and the work that I do,” says Marissa Marzec, a barista at the coffee shop.

“I enjoy everything about my job. I love my co-workers and my managers and they’re very supportive when I need help. They’ve become good friends of mine. Working for Anastasia and Katie’s Coffee Shop is my number one dream job I could ever ask for.”

[Learn more about Anastasia and Katie’s Coffee Shop & Café, their opening, and their mission on our website.]

Anastasia and Katie’s Coffee Shop & Café is currently limited to carry-out service. It is located at 19215 Merriman Rd. in Livonia.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.