We asked Richard Hansen, 53, what makes Bitty & Beau’s Coffee so special. “Bitty and Beau are a brother and sister. Bitty always runs to me and says, ‘I love you, Uncle Richard.’ So, they are like family. Also, the customers make it special. Everybody brings happiness and joy into the shop. That’s why it’s so special,” Richard says.
We can’t help but think it also has everything to do with Richard and the entire team! They decided to pool their tips for the last two weeks to provide post-disaster relief for others with disabilities.
Together, they collected $3,634.59, and Bitty & Beau’s matched that amount, bringing the total gift to $7,269.18! Here’s the rest of Sam’s interview with Richard:
"I’ve been working at Bitty & Beau’s for one year. I was one of more than 50 people who applied. I work very hard. One of my goals is to be a manager, or assistant manager.
"I work here to pay my rent money. My mom and dad died, and so now it’s up to me.
"I’ve also applied for another job—stocking things at Porches Cafe.
"What do you do at Bitty & Beau’s? I do everything. I make sure Kelly (my manager) stays in line. I wipe down the tables, take out the trash, pump out coffee, make the coffee. I also call out the cards. (At Bitty & Beau’s, customers get a playing card when they order, so team members call out the name of the card when an order is complete.) I like calling out every single one.
"Right now, I’m also learning how to use the cash register—learning money skills so I can run the cash register better."
What did you do before? "I worked at UNC-W (University of North Carolina at Wilmington) for 10 years. I was the assistant manager, attending to the dining room area. I took out the garbage, cleaned the tables, and restocked the plastic silverware."
What makes you unique? "I love to iron. I would like to bring the whole box of long-sleeve shirts and t-shirts home to iron, and then bring them all back on hangers.
"I also like to go bowling with my girlfriend—she’s a waitress at the Greek restaurant, Olympia.
"Every Thursday I have a full-time job playing the harmonica with a pianist who just made a CD. On Thursdays, I play about 5 songs on my harmonica with her.
"I’ve been playing for about 22 years now. I had a friend up in Connecticut who taught me how to play—downstairs in his garage.
"If I could play harmonica with anyone, I would play with Reba McIntire.
We hope your dream comes true, Richard!
Bitty & Beau’s currently employs 40 people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. We think its mission—of creating paths for people with disabilities to become more valued, accepted, and included in every community—simply could not be finer.