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New Park City coffee shop gives people with disabilities a chance

PARK CITY, Utah (News4Utah) - After a year and a half the owners of Lucky Ones Coffee were finally able to open up shop at the Park City Library. The business employs 13 people all who have a range of disabilities. The impacts go further than just having a job.

Taylor Matkins is one of the owners. She said she got the idea from a coffee shop she went to in college back in North Carolina. Her hope is challenge misconceptions about those with disabilities being able to work.

"I hope to break the stigma that it's hard to employ an individual with a disability," said Matkins. "It may take a few extra steps in training, but once they have a job they're excited about it."

Amber Ohl is one of the new baristas who works for Matkins. She said it's been an amazing experience so far and she loves making coffee.

"The espresso machine is a blast," said Ohl. "I love making cappuccino, and lattes, and everything."

Ohl has Sturge Weber Syndrome, which leaves a "port wine" birth mark on the right side of her face. It also leaves a mark on the right side of her brain which makes her left side of her body weaker. At past jobs that's been an issue.

"They didn't understand that I can't stand on the floor all day without having a rest," said Ohl.

Ohl said the owners are understanding, and her coworkers are a big help.

Mya Drexler is almost totally deaf. She notes everyone at the shop makes sure the work gets done.

"Everyone here all has different disabilities so it's like a team here and I feel like we all help each other," said Drexler.

She helps other employees where she can and they make sure to write down orders for her.

Matkins said the community is showing support by stopping by but also interacting with staff.

"They're excited to talk with our employees and just kind of being a part of this community and opening it up to everyone," said Matkins.

Lindsay Jones has come in to get coffee nearly every day since they've opened. She's worked for the National Ability Center and is currently an aid for special education class at Park City High School. She notes how important this concept is for self-esteem and acceptance.

"A lot of times in school you will see that they just don't feel normal because they're marked special ed or having a different disability, but here they are just another person," said Jones.

Jones often brings by those she works with so they know they have a chance to work in the future.

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