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French president inaugurates café staffed by people with mental disabilities


President Macron cut the ribbon on the new café opened on the world famous Champs Elysées.

Known as the “most beautiful avenue in the world,” the Champs Elysées in Paris is home to some to the world’s most luxurious shops and eateries. As of March it is now also the address of Café Joyeux, or “Joyous Café” staffed by a willing team of employees with mental or cognitive disabilities.

It was with a notion of joy that the French president and his wife, Brigitte Macron, along with the Secretary of State in charge of People with Disabilities, Sophie Cluzel, went to inaugurate the coffee shop on the famous avenue that will serve drinks and snacks to Parisians and the millions of tourists who flock to the popular destination each year.

The benefit of opening the cafe in such a prestigious location is that it will highlight to so many more customers what wonderful service they can receive from these diligent and efficient workers. And for those working at 144 Champs Elysées, they can go to work each day knowing that they’ll be showing the world that they can achieve whatever they set out to do.

The café’s Facebook page states, its chain of eateries aims to bring confidence and dignity to those living with cognitive disabilities. And by placing their cafés and restaurants in the hearts of cities they hope to put an end to prejudices and give people the chance to meet each other which will create a “deep joy.”

As is becoming increasingly the case, working in cafés and restaurants is proving to be the perfect career choice for those who are mentally impaired. In the States the coffee shop chain, Bitty & Beau’s, seems to be going from strength to strength, opening shops statewide and employing these more vulnerable members of society. And just recently in Belgium, a high end restaurant won a major award for best eatery, and it too employs those primarily with Down syndrome.

The reason behind the success of these cafés and restaurants seems to be the dedication of their employees. They are not only happy to have a job, they delight in putting a smile on their customers’ faces and making it an experience they will want to repeat.



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