Inclusion – the feeling of being “a part of” something or a group. It’s the feeling that you belong in the world, even just walking into a Dunkin Donuts or Wawa on your daily commute in the Jersey traffic; inclusion is feeling respected, valued, and treated the same as every other customer who walks in. For individuals with special needs, it is one of their biggest obstacles to overcome, but one new business owner in Elmer New Jersey has made it her personal mission to make everyone feel at home when they visit Inclusion Coffee Shop.
Since the doors opened in April 2022, customers have enjoyed the welcoming spirit and home-like atmosphere of Inclusion Coffee Shop in NJ. This local coffee spot in south Jersey is more than just a cup of good joe and a smiling face behind the counter; Amanda Vellon, founder and owner, was inspired by her youngest son Rome, who is often spotted on the Inclusion Coffee Facebook Page enjoying the treats! He was gifted an extra chromosome (like the genes you get from Mom and Dad!) at birth, which is the cause of Down Syndrome and affects about 1 in 700 babies every year, according to the CDC.
With a background in sales and degree in business, Amanda took off with this idea to raise awareness of Down Syndrome and do her best to make this world a better place for every body. Now she is doing that one coffee and one great big contagious smile from Rome at a time!
Amanda says, ”I’ve spent months from sun up to sun down working on getting the shop ready and now that we’re open, I still work just as much but I love it! I have a passion to spread awareness for Down Syndrome and how important inclusion is, for any individual to feel welcome in any space or group no matter the diagnosis.”
Inclusion Coffee Shop
119 S Main Street
Elmer, NJ 08318 -2234
Find IC on Facebook!
Open Monday-Saturday from 6:30am to 3pm, customers can visit Inclusion Coffee for a delicious coffee, refreshing espresso drink, tea, or frappe. Enjoy fresh pastries, bagels, donuts, paninis and more, whether you want to take it to go or relax in the cafe to soak in the good vibes.
The official Grand Ribbon Cutting will take place Saturday June 25, and Amanda is excited to celebrate with the community. The event will include prizes and even face painting for kids!
“We have been very successful since opening day. The support from the community has been incredibly awesome,” Amanda told Just Your Best. “One thing that always brings me to tears is when I meet other moms that went through what I went through with my son. I continue to meet amazing people who share with me how happy it makes them that they have a place to bring their child and can always feel welcomed.”
It’s no surprise the community has come to embrace this uplifting new small business in the heart of south Jersey. Amanda is incredibly passionate about the cause and her customers, and she is backed by a strong family of support too: her incredible best friend and husband, Tito; their four children, Natalya, Giotto, Milania, and Rome; and her entire family from her parents to her siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins, and all who have helped and motivated her along this journey.
“I’m incredibly blessed to have such a supportive family! I love them so much. My goal is to continue to spread awareness and open coffee shops with a mission nationwide!”
Stop in to meet Amanda and find a new favorite coffee shop that is sure to brighten your day!
Learn more about Down Syndrome, or visit Amanda and Rome at Inclusion Coffee in Elmer, NJ.