Two families, one vision.
The seed of BeanZ & Co. was planted many years ago...
In 1994, Kim and Scott Morrison opened The New England Pasta Company in Avon, Conn. Since then, it has grown into a specialty pasta shop, well known in the Farmington Valley and beyond for its housemade pasta, gourmet foods, seasonal and corporate catering menus, and friendly service. The Morrison daughters, Meg and Mollie, are part of their family business, working behind the counter and at the register, among other roles. This work experience has been an especially meaningful opportunity for Meg, who has Down syndrome.
In looking to Meg’s future and that of others with IDD who age out of the school system at age 21—and face a national unemployment rate of 80%—Kim and Scott have partnered with longtime friends, Noelle and Tim Alix, whose daughter Cate is also an adult with Down syndrome. Together, the families have launched BeanZ & Co., an inclusive coffee café with the mission of providing employment opportunities to those with and without IDD. Their vision is one of an inclusive community where everyone is welcome to work, eat and gather surrounded by great food, great coffee, and great people—a place where everyone belongs.
Kim and Noelle met more than 20 years ago at a group for mothers of children with Down syndrome when Meg and Cate were babies. The two working women each forged career paths that allowed them to be available for their girls, Meg who required a tracheotomy after complications from a surgery, and Cate who had pulmonary issues and frequent hospitalizations. Kim and her husband Scott didn’t franchise The New England Pasta Company as first planned to support Meg’s needs, instead focusing on their Avon, Conn. location, customers and local community. Noelle with the support of a colleague and mentor, became one of the first 100% telecommuting lawyers in Big Law at the firm Vinson & Elkins, a pioneer in the late ‘90s to offer Noelle such a flexible work arrangement. Together, Kim and Noelle have taken the step in breaking the next “glass ceiling” of inclusive employment for individuals with IDD in opening BeanZ & Co. Excited to see all that this movement will become, Noelle and Kim encourage other employers to follow their lead.
BeanZ & Co. serves breakfast, lunch, coffee, and bakery items at its eat-in café or for take-out, as well as catering services, and is located inside the same building as The New England Pasta Company. Founded on the same high quality and caring principles of The New England Pasta Company, BeanZ & Co. is dedicated to providing customers with delicious, housemade food and coffee, and personal service. At BeanZ & Co., as at The New England Pasta Company, you’ll feel like family.