Meet a Few of Our Team BeanZ Lunch Crew

A Q&A with Jess Sahlman, Nick Sinacori and Lauren Traceski

From Left to Right: Jess Sahlman, Nick Sinacori and Lauren Traceski part of the Team BeanZ lunch crew.

From Left to Right: Jess Sahlman, Nick Sinacori and Lauren Traceski part of the Team BeanZ lunch crew.

Our employees are the heart and soul of BeanZ & Co. We call them, Team BeanZ. Day in and day out, they help us prepare and serve delicious food and care for our customers with the highest quality service – and always with a smile. The editorial staff at “Where Everyone Belongs” (a.k.a., The BeanZ Blog, “BB”) sat down with three employees from our Team BeanZ lunch crew, Jess Sahlman, Nick Sinacori and Lauren Traceski, to hear the scoop on everything BeanZ!!  

BB: How did it feel to be hired at BeanZ & Co.?

Lauren: I felt nervous at first because I wasn’t sure what I would be doing, but once I started my job, I became more confident. And every day, I feel more confident.
Jess: I felt excited, special and thankful when I was hired.
Nick: I was honored. I was working at Favarh (The Arc of The Farmington Valley) and was asked to apply. They thought I was a good match and could use the skills I learned there at BeanZ.

BB: Have you ever worked before, or is this your first job?

Lauren: I worked with Favarh who helped me find my first job at Michaels where I worked for three years. My manager at Favarh said there was an opening at BeanZ and asked if I would be interested. I thought, yes, I could do it.
Jess: I have been preparing for work for six years with internships. This is the first time I applied for and was hired for a job. 
Nick: This is actually my sixth job. I’ve worked at Fitzgerald’s, UCONN Health, at the capitol building, Favarh, and Simsbury Farms Ice Skating Rink.

BB: What are your job responsibilities at BeanZ & Co.?

Lauren: I run food and work the cash register. I can do a lot here. There’s lots of room for me to grow.
Jess: I serve food to the customers, clean tables, stock sugars to keep them full, and wrap to-go silverware in napkins.
Nick: I do the cash register, bus tables, run supplies up from downstairs, and help behind the counter.

BB: How does it feel to receive a paycheck for the work you do?

Lauren: It feels good to get a paycheck. I love it! I know that next year I will move out of my parent’s house. It makes me feel confident to get a paycheck I can use to pay rent.
Jess: It feels amazing to receive a paycheck for the work I do. I love being paid!
Nick: It makes me feel proud to have my own money.

BB: What’s your favorite item on the lunch menu that you recommend?

Lauren: The two things I like best are the grilled cheese and the turkey panini!
Jess: I recommend the turkey sandwich!
Nick: My favorites are the barbeque pulled pork tacos (on our fall/winter menu), and the ultimate gourmet grilled cheese! (We’ll have to have a taco party next fall!)

BB: What do you like best about working here?

Lauren: I like the people I work closely with and I love going into the kitchen and bonding with the kitchen staff, too.
Jess: I love working with my friends and co-workers, especially Ms. Kim and Ms. Noelle. I love the pride I feel that comes from teamwork. Most of all, I love to show families with special kids there is a future for them.
Nick: BeanZ feels like family – and it feels like I belong to something big.

BB: How have you grown by working at BeanZ & Co.?

Lauren: It’s hard work being on your feet, more so in the restaurant business than a craft store, but I’m getting used to it. I really like it here. Having everyone supporting me has been great. I am really glad it’s working out. I worked the soft opening, the friends and family event, and the grand opening. It’s been so fun!
Jess: I have learned to communicate and socialize more with other people by working here. It’s been great!
Nick: I’ve been less nervous with the support of great co-workers.

BB: Can you share in just one word what BeanZ & Co. means to you?

Lauren: I actually have two words: friendly and wonderful – it’s wonderful to be a part of something.
Jess: For me, 100% it’s pride. I have so much pride.
Nick: Value. I feel valued here.

BeanZ & Co. is an inclusive coffee café employing people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities and demonstrates the possibilities in all of us. The coffee café serves breakfast, lunch, hot and cold beverages, and bakery items for take-out or eat in, and also offers catering services. BeanZ & Co. is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located at 300 West Main Street, Avon, Conn. For more information visit and friend them on Facebook and Instagram.