Organizations blend together to expand coffee shops across Topeka

Published: Aug. 4, 2023 at 6:18 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Dialogue Coffee House and Capper Foundation combined efforts are changing lives — one cup of coffee at a time.

The Dialogue Coffee House is more than just your average grab-and-go coffee shop. They look to provide equal opportunities for everyone.

Founder of Dialogue Coffee House and Employment Services Director of the Capper Foundation, Caitlyn Halsey, said the name ‘dialogue’ expands on communication and how it can be different for everyone.

“Dialogue really just began out of a mission to create opportunities for our friends with disabilities to have experiences like you and I,” said Halsey. “To have purpose in their work and to be contributing members to our society.”

By unifying together, they are creating two expansions and plan to create more in the future.

One will be opening at Fellowship Bible Church in September.

Another will be opening in Silver Lake at 301 E Railroad St., the former First Baptist Church, in October.

President and CEO of the Capper Foundation, Zach Ahrens, said the impact is to include people of all abilities, every single day.

“The expansion of the Silver Lakes store and also the Fellowship Bible location will allow us to serve over fifty individuals teaching them those life skills to be able to provide paychecks, to be able to enrich their communities and to work and play right at home,” said Ahrens. “That is a huge dream of ours.”

Director of Special Services for Silver Lake, Greg Harmon, said the opportunity will allow the students to work during the school day at the coffee shop and perfect their soft skills.

“Our students with special needs are really excited about it,” said Harmon. “They’ve already kind of stuck their toe in the water a little bit on this other coffee shop. They haven’t really always made the coffee or taken the money like they will. The focus wasn’t job skills, life skills — the focus was social.”

Their mission is create as many opportunities as possible.

“We’d love to be able to continue to expand this even further so that we can serve more individuals with disabilities,” said Ahrens.