A megachurch in Texas has opened a pie and coffee shop staffed by individuals with special needs to help train them for future employment.
Chance’s Pie and Coffee Shop is overseen by the Belong disABILITY Ministry at Highland Park United Methodist Church, a Dallas, Texas-based congregation with about 6,000 regular worship attendees.
Tood Bruning, the manager of Belong, told The Christian Post on Wednesday that the shop was “designed as a vocational preparation program for adults with disabilities who are interested in a future in the work world.”
The shop opened in September and is named in memory of Chance Urschel, a former member of Belong who was born with a neurological disorder called holoprosencephaly and died at age 20 in 2016.
“Chance Urschel and his family were involved in our Belong Ministries for many years and they loved to bring smiles to the faces of others by baking and giving away pies,” Bruning said.
“Chance's was opened in the hope that our cafe can inspire others to share their gifts and find joy in serving others, just like Chance did.”
Bruning described business for the shop as being “vibrant so far,” as they have grossed around $15,000 in sales since they opened and have sold around 1,500 pies.
“Chance's has now started reaching out to invite our Highland Park neighbors, especially the Southern Methodist University students across the street,” he said.
“With a continued healthy flow of customers, our plan is to competitively compensate as many of our trained crew members as possible.”
Proceeds from Chance’s profits will cover the costs associated with the training and operations work done at the shop.
“Chance's provides a wonderful opportunity for our crew members to develop and grow important vocational and social skills,” Bruning said.
“But the greatest blessing might be the interaction that grows between customers and crew members. The confidence, pride and joy with which our crew members perform their jobs is an inspiration to us all.”