Ethan and the Bean is a non-profit organization located in Little Falls, NJ founded by Pam and Pat Donovan, Ethan’s parents, in response to the lack of employment opportunities available for their son. Established as a coffee shop, Ethan and the Bean was founded to create meaningful employment for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Since our founding in November of 2019, we have provided employment to five individuals with varying Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to help change that bleak statistic. We have also launched a volunteer job sampling program where individuals with disabilities from the community are integrated into an active volunteer position to gain work-based learning experience. We celebrate each person’s unique contributions and strive to cultivate a positive, empowering space. Our employees are thoroughly trained and have gained self esteem, meaningful employment, and skills for independent living.
One of the biggest barriers to employment is an unwillingness by many employers to envision the possibilities of success for people with I/DD. Every day and in every day, Ethan & the Bean seeks to provide a living, breathing example of a social enterprise where individuals of all ability levels can thrive. The community benefits from visiting the coffee shop because they experience firsthand how we provide a population that is all too often overlooked, both visibility and opportunities. It normalizes our sincerely held belief that employment is possible for anyone who seeks it, and a job can truly change a life.
In an effort to create jobs, it also became clear that people were also seeking genuine connection and inclusion outside of the workplace. Thus, since its inception, Ethan & the Bean has morphed into a community space where people can also gather to make and share art, explore new hobbies, socialize, and cultivate relationships. Ethan & the Bean’s long term vision is to continue to expand our humanitarian effort to create employment opportunities but also serve as a beacon where all people are seen, included, and celebrated for their unique contributions. Visit us at 98 Main Street in Little Falls Monday through Saturday from 9AM-4PM and Sunday from 10AM-2PM. You can also visit us online at ethanandthebean.com or follow along on social media @ethanandthebean.