Cary, NC — The wait is officially over, folks! Downtown Cary’s newest business, Esteamed Coffee, will be open to the public starting this Thursday from 7:30 AM to 3 PM.
Esteamed Coffee, located at 114 S. Academy Street, is a nonprofit coffee shop and cafe.
Dedicated to Employing People with Disabilities
At the heart of this shop is the mission set by its founders, Tamara Lapsley and Angie Hudson — employing people with various disabilities and being a part of lowering the more than 70% unemployment rate in the U.S. for people with differing abilities.
The team has been chosen, trained and has been working this week to serve up a few customers invited in for their soft openings Monday-Wednesday.
“Our employees have been so excited to complete training and actually start serving customers — so much so that they are arriving very early to their shifts in anticipation,” said Hudson.
Thursday, December 17 begins the cafe’s initial weekly schedule:
- Monday-Saturday, 7:30 – 3:00 (for at least the first month)
- Sunday, Closed
A Look Inside the Shop
To get it to its current look and feel, the 1940s cottage underwent construction starting in June 2020.
“The renovation process ended up being fairly involved,” said Lapsley. The renovations included replacing electrical, plumbing, floor joists, leveling all of the interior flooring, raising the ceiling about 10 inches, moving interior walls an creating working spaces and restrooms that meet ADA standards.
While seemingly small on the outside, the shop has a variety of seating options. There’s even a conference-room area that can be reserved for up to 8 people once social distancing measures are no longer necessary.
For now, the sliding barn doors of the conference room remain open and people can be seated inside while remaining 6 feet apart.
What’s On the Menu?
Esteamed Coffee serves up its own house blend coffee made of 100% locally sourced Arabica coffee beans that are organic and fair trade.
In addition to their original blend that’s nutty with hints of chocolate and clove, the shop offers up a full menu of cafe eats, including some gluten free options. For beverages, there’s an array of hot, iced and frozen coffees, smoothies and more.
Take a look at the full menu below.
Ways to Support Esteamed Coffee
To help this 501 (c)(3) organization continue to offer employment opportunities to folks with disabilities in the community, you can do so in many ways beyond buying a cup of joe.
The shop offers a variety of merchandise, gifts and local made artworks for sale by artists living with a disability.
Stopping in on Monday this week, there were handmade mugs from a potter in Chapel Hill who is legally blind, post cards made by a local photographer who survived a massive stroke and wall paintings made by a young man on the autism spectrum.
For a closer look inside the new shop, stop in for a cup at Esteamed Coffee once it’s open this Thursday.
Story and photos by Ashley Kairis.
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