Abilis and Darien YMCA Partner on New Café

Abilis and Darien YMCA are excited to announce the opening of The NEW Café at Darien YMCA! The Café at Darien YMCA is a unique partnership between Darien YMCA and Abilis and provides competitive employment opportunities for adults with disabilities.

The Café will provide coffee, tea, breakfast, lunch and snacks, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Expanded hours during the week to stay open until 6:00 p.m. and Saturday’s hours from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., will be put in place in February after The Café completes its employee training. 

Pictured L to R are: Mitchell Cohen, chair of the Abilis Board of Directors, Jennifer Gardner, CEO of Darien YMCA, Andrew Peeler,  Abilis Job Coach with Charlie Fraser, an Abilis program participant and Café team member, Amy Montimurro, CEO and president of Abilis, and Sarah Woodberry, executive director of The Darien Foundation.
Charlie Fraser, an Abilis program participant and Café team member, with Andrew Peeler,  an Abilis Job Coach, at The Café at Darien YMCA.

“We are really excited to partner with the Darien YMCA to run their Café inside the Y and service the Y’s members,” said Amy Montimurro, CEO and president of Abilis in a release.

“They have been incredible partners over the past year, embracing our Project Search program,” Montimurro added.”This is the fourth Café in Fairfield County and our second in Darien and we are thrilled to be able to offer another great opportunity to employ and train adults with disabilities. This Café provides meaningful employment and an opportunity for individuals to learn marketable skills, great customer service, and develop self-confidence to join the workforce. It’s a wonderful program and we are proud to expand our partnership with the Darien YMCA in such a special way.”

The Café at Darien YMCA offers coffee, tea, breakfast pastries, nutritional bars, salads, sandwiches and snacks. Fairfield County based food purveyors that are providing the grab-and-go food items include Shearwater Organic Coffee, Happiness Is Back Country Market for salads, sandwiches and baked goods, Friends & Company Kitchen, which offers gluten and dairy-free baked goods, and other local food providers.

“We’ve been partnering with Abilis for the past year on the wonderful Project SEARCH internship program and seeing the immediate benefits to the program’s participants and our Y members,” said Jennifer Gardner, CEO of the Darien YMCA. “We are excited to expand our partnership with Abilis to include The Café at Darien YMCA and provide additional opportunities to provide jobs to Abilis community members, some who have already become part of our Y family. We know our Y family members will appreciate the customer service the Abilis community members provide at the Y’s Café and will enjoy all of the delicious food items! We are all excited to have this vision come to fruition.”

Special thanks to The Darien Foundation for providing a grant for new point-of-sale technology for The Café at Darien YMCA. The Darien Foundation funded the technology and equipment for other Abilis initiatives in Darien including the Darien Project SEARCH program at the Darien YMCA, The Café at Darien Library, the Abilis LEAP program at the Darien Depot and at the Abilis’ residences on East Lane in Darien.

To learn more about The Café at Darien YMCA or to become a YMCA member, visit darien-ymca.org. To learn more about partnering with Abilis for other businesses, visit abilis.us.

Abilis is a 501c3 non-profit organization that supports more than 800 individuals with disabilities and their families from birth throughout their lives. Founded in 1951, Abilis is a leader in providing meaningful supports to the community in towns including Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Stamford, Westport and Wilton.

Darien YMCA is a 501c3 nonprofit charitable organization with a mission to strengthen the foundation of the community through programs, services and relationships that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all.