No One Would Hire Autistic Man, so He Started His Own Business

Red, White & Brew coffee shop in North Smithfield, Rhode Island is not your regular, run-of-the-mill coffee shop. It is quite special because it spreads awareness on the importance of hiring people who have disabilities.

Michael Coyne has autism, but he is not letting that hinder his life. After he applied to several places and struggled to find somewhere who would give him a shot, the entrepreneur started his own business slinging coffees.

“After I turned 21 I applied to multiple places. None of them would hire me,” he said.

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Coyne’s mother, Sheila, told him to start looking into other ways to find employment when she saw her son struggling. “It’s not easy for parents to watch your kid sit around the kitchen table while everyone else is enjoying life and coworkers, and talking about their day,” she said.

Her son decided to take matters into his own hands. He enrolled in business classes through the state’s Developmental Disabilities Council. He was then ready to open his coffee shop.

The business has been open less than two weeks and has already become a haven for other families who have children with disabilities.

“We’ve had parents come in with tears in their eyes with the hope that their young children will eventually be accepted into the community,” Sheila added.

On the other side of the gift shop is a craft store called Budding Violet. There you can purchase homemade products, many of which are created by artists with disabilities.
Red, White & Brew is located at 601 Great Rd, and is open for business seven days a week:
Mon. – Wed.: 6:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday: 6:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Friday: 6:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
People with disabilities are still people who need to make a living and provide for themselves and maybe even their family. It’s sad to know that he was turned away from so many places of employment, but it truly warms my heart to know that Michael was able to overcome such a large obstacle and create his own destiny.
If I am ever in Rhode Island, I will be making a special trip to get a coffee from this inspirational man.