Cafe Joyeux New York: A Joyous Café in NYC is Empowering Individuals with Autism and Down Syndrome

Café Joyeux in New York City aims to employ people with neurological disabilities to empower them.

Cafe Joyeux New York

Cafe Joyeux NYC opening: Picture from their Instagram

With over 20 locations throughout Europe, Cafe Joeyux is a well-known brand and café that has found its way to the US. It is a progressive and innovative business.

When World Down Syndrome Day was observed on March 21 last month, the first Café Joyeux started its operations in New York City.

The non-profit business, which was founded in Paris seven years ago by French social entrepreneur Yann Bucaille, employs about 250 persons with intellectual and developmental challenges, including those who have Down syndrome.

SIMILAR: Know more about Mar Galcerán, a Spanish parliamentarian with Down Syndrome.

Located at 599 Lexington Avenue, Café Joyeux NYC lives up to its name—Joyeux, which means “joyful”—by bringing delight to both its staff and customers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 80% of handicapped individuals do not have a job. To counter these startling statistics, groups like Café Joyeux give people with IDD hope and a reliable source of income.

Nicholas Stanford, a staff member at the café, told CBS News that he was thrilled to have a job there and the freedom to be on his own.

Another employee 27-year-old Rachael Barcelona, is suffering from autism and faced many difficulties finding a job. She was ecstatic when she was hired, when in the past she’d witnessed countless rejections and was even termed as “burdensome” due to her condition.

Cafe Joyeux New York
Celebrating the opening of Cafe Joyeux in New York City

This empowerment is essential for the well-being and independence of disabled people, as they too deserve a rightful place for themselves in society.

According to Bucaille, Café Joyeux is a “victory for inclusion” more than just a symbol of inclusiveness.

SIMILAR: Read about an Oscar winning actor with Down Syndrome.

The coffee shop staff receive extensive training and consists of people with a range of neurological problems, yet they are expected to work like ordinary workers.

To bridge the job gap, Bucaille believes that individuals with disabilities must have a position in the “economic system” since they contribute far more than they get.

Fortunately for the administration of Café Joyeux in New York City, the building’s owners have granted the establishment a ten-year rent-free lease because of their noble intentions and actions.

Maya Bennett