Hugs + Mugs is a café in Illinois that is unique, because it’s run completely by adults with Down syndrome.
The store opened in 2014 and has a mix of coffee makers and interns who use the design studio at the back of the shop to create custom gifts sold in store and opens in a new windowonline.
Dave Luzwick, director of adult programming and job placement with Gigi’s Playhouse in Hoffman Estates, said:
We think it’s one of the best kept secrets in the Northwest Suburbs.
The café also sells seven different gelato flavours, milkshakes and smoothies.
opens in a new windowGiGi’s Playhouse Hoffman Estates is a training centre that provides “resources, specialised teaching, and support to individuals with Down syndrome, their families and the community”.
They even offer a combination of therapeutic and education programmes free of charge.
People begin by going to two 12-week sessions at Gigi U where they study a variety of subjects including maths, literacy and public speaking.
Following completion of the program, students begin an 18-week internship at the café, which acts as a transition period after which they are ready to take a job in the community.