Cameron’s Coffee & Chocolates is a coffee and chocolate shop that provides adults with intellectual disabilities with jobs. The shop, located 10 minutes from George Mason University’s Fairfax campus, first opened in 2013 and has since grown to employ 12 full-time workers along with nearly 20 support staff members. Owned by Ellen and Jim Graham, and named after their daughter Cameron, this coffee shop is providing the community with jobs and delicious handmade goods.
In Fairfax County, adults with intellectual disabilities age out of the education system at the age of 22. After that point, they may join training programs and work programs, but some do not get the chance to obtain paying jobs. Thus, the Grahams launched their foundation, Every 1 Can Work, which was created to provide permanent employment opportunities for young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. The foundation’s motto is, “We don’t hire people to make chocolate, we make chocolate so that we can hire people.” It supports families of those with intellectual disabilities and trains their workers in food service, customer service, and provides them with travel-training opportunities to learn how to budget and be more independent.
Additionally, Cameron’s Coffee & Chocolates is the perfect place to unwind, study, or just grab a cup of coffee — The shop has free wifi and smells of ground coffee, baked goods and sweet chocolate waft through the air. You can even pick up homemade and hand-dipped chocolates that would make for the perfect holiday gifts for those sweet tooth enthusiasts in your life.