New Lexington coffee house hires people with special needs

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — There’s a new coffee house coming to Lexington that has opportunity on the menu.

McLeod’s Coffee House, located at 376 Southland Drive, will be staffed entirely by people with special needs. It’s set to open in mid-October.

Walking through the doors of the coffee house you’ll find yourself surrounded by employees with special needs, ready to serve everything but stereotypes.

Walker Redmon will wash dishes and he’s excited to work.

Megan Gaines will be the cashier. She was born with Spina Bifida and is paralyzed from the waist down.

“I’m exactly like anybody else. I can do the same things you can do I just may do things differently,” says Gaines.

But she says different is beautiful and she’s excited to work at a place that embraces that.

“It really is a place for everyone. Whether you’re in a wheelchair, have a walker, have a speech impediment or whatever. iI’s a place where you can feel included and not like an outcast,” says Gaines.

Brewster McLeod, a retired pastor at Southland Christian Church, came up with the idea for the coffee house about five years ago.

“I don’t do it for that pat on the back because that can be very addicting. I do it because I really care about them and I know that they are gifted,” says Brewster McLeod, the owner.

He loves working with people with special needs. That devotion was on display when he started putting on a Jesus prom at Southland years ago just for those with special needs.

“I just want them to know they have great value,” McLeod says.

So they know that value, he’s calling the employees VIPs, who will walk-in to work on a red carpet.

One of their uniforms will be a superman shirt. He says because they’re his superheroes.

McLeod wants the customers experience to be eye opening.

“If you’re nervous around them just give em a chance. If they’re in a wheelchair just kneel down and talk to em. If you can’t understand them you can ask them five more times what they said. They appreciate that than you just ignoring them,” says McLeod.

He hopes others will come out to the coffee house, see the VIPs value, and want to hire them, too.

You can donate to the coffee house by clicking here.

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