Perky Planet Coffee Shop and Social Revolution | A coffee shop built from the ground up to employ people with intellectual disabilities.
The case for Perky Planet
While small businesses across the U.S struggle to find employees, over 70% of our neighbors with disabilities are unemployed. Many are eager and able to work. A job means independence. Security. Relationships. Respect. Dignity. And when you ask employers who do hire people with disabilities they will tell you that they are assets to the business and ideal employees. When given the same jobs, held to the same standards, and paid the same wage that they perform as well or better than their non-disabled co-workers.
I found out first-hand the struggles folks with disabilities face after a spinal cord injury left me paralyzed. When looking for a job folks with disabilities face a death by a thousand cuts. Transportation issues, the need for a flexible schedule, and the struggles with the hiring process are all challenges, but the cruelest cut of all is the unspoken belief that the person with disabilities can’t really do the job. That hiring people with disabilities is a “nice thing to do” if the business can “afford it”.
We are building Perky Planet to change that narrative.
Who we are – the project team
We are a small group of special educators and entrepreneurs.
What We Need & What You Get
To get the cafe open will require a $150,000 investment. $50,000 for equipment, $50,00 for build-out, legal, permits and $50,000 overages and operating capital.
- Coffee Shop equipment totals $29k, the balance is for ice machines, ovens, refrigeration. https://www.perkyplanet.org/files
- Specialized equipment including automatic dose grinders and super automatic espresso machines total $20,000 more than non-specialized equipment. Our crowdfunding campaign is for those increased costs.
- Our perks include exclusive one-time-only gear
- We have chosen an “all or nothing” fundraising goal. Should we not hit the goal, all monies paid will be refunded by Indiegogo.
Our business model is designed to be replicated. We feel that when small business see that hiring folks with disabilities is an asset to the business, that many more will do so. We plan on starting that business revolution. There are several cafes and small businesses like Perky Planet in the U.S. They are typically started by family members for a member of their family. These folks do an amazing job; the problem is that they are unicorns. There aren’t very many of them and not all people with disabilities have families that can start a business. A few of the inspirations for Perky Planet are:
Risks & Challenges
As with any small business there are risks to be overcome. We’ve very carefully selected our location, menus and procedures to mitigate these risks. However the biggest unknown is: Will people frequent our shop if it is known that they may be served by someone with a disability? We think the answer to that is yes. This fundraising effort is an attempt to validate the premise.
Other Ways You Can Help
We would love for you to support our campaign. But if you can not, please share our page to your friends and relatives!