Abilis to Run The Café at Greenwich Library

Abilis and Greenwich Library are joining forces to write the next chapter of café service at Greenwich Library.

The two organizations are partnering to bring The Café at Greenwich Library to fruition.

Danny Clarke, one of The Café at Greenwich Library future employees, holds up the Coming Soon sign on the day Abilis and Greenwich Library announced their partnership. Photo credit: Cara Gilbride, Callalily Studios.

The Café will offer a variety of delicious and popular coffee and food choices, coordinating with local favorite restaurants such as Garden Catering, Upper Crust Bagel Company, Arcuri’s Pizza & Salad, COBS Bread, Happiness Is Back Country Market & Café and coffee from Shearwater Coffee Roasters.

This venture is integral to the Library’s goal to provide a welcoming community gathering space while being able to help support the important work of Abilis.

The Café at Greenwich Library will open later this year with online ordering and no-contact pick-up.

Abilis and Greenwich Library are partnering to bring The Café at Greenwich Library to the main Library branch. The Café will be a competitive employer for Abilis clients with special needs. Photo credit: Cara Gilbride, Callalily Studios.

The hours will be the same as no-contact pick up at the Library. The space is located in the newly remodeled lower level by the new Baxter Courtyard entrance. The Café at Greenwich Library was made possible through a gift from The Asness Family Foundation.

Heather Brown, a professional food service manager with more than 30 years of experience working in restaurant and catering businesses, will manage The Café at Greenwich Library on a daily basis for Abilis, overseeing employees and this new expansion of Abilis’ competitive employment services. The agreement between Abilis and Greenwich Library to manage The Café is a three-year contract that was awarded after a competitive bidding process.

“We are very excited to be able to extend Abilis’ competitive employment program to The Café at Greenwich Library,” said Amy Montimurro, CEO and president of Abilis. “Abilis remains committed to our mission ensuring individuals with disabilities have meaningful employment. These skills are developed in conjunction with our business ventures, such as Abilis Gardens & Gifts, the Abilis Café, our landscaping businesses, office administration and facility maintenance. This new venture with Greenwich Library for The Café will allow us to continue our goal of community integration and creating employment opportunities of which Abilis is so well known. The Café at Greenwich Library will be a place where individuals with special needs can learn meaningful job skills and be gainfully employed while providing service to Library patrons.” 

“As part of the development of the Request For Proposals, the Library conducted a survey to determine the community’s vision for a successful café. Food quality, excellent service, an inviting atmosphere, and good coffee were among the most important attributes chosen,” said Barbara Ormerod-Glynn, Greenwich Library director. “We designed a warm, welcoming, comfortable and well-lit space where community members can meet up over a cup of coffee and a snack that complements and enhances the overall patron experience at the Library. We’re pleased to partner with Abilis to bring this vision of The Café at Greenwich Library to life.”

Online ordering will be available through The Café at Greenwich Library’s website greenwichlibrarycafe.org.

Founded in 1951, Abilis is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that supports more than 700 individuals with special needs and their families from birth throughout their lives. Services include Birth-to-Three early intervention and customized therapies, to help young children achieve important developmental milestones. Adult Life Services include day programs, social activities, meaningful employment program, and high quality residential services, Abilis has been a leader in serving the special needs community in Fairfield County in towns including, Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Stamford, Westport, Weston and Wilton, and has a long-standing reputation for individualized, high quality care. For more information, visit www.abilis.us, or  Facebook @abilisinc, Twitter @Abilis or Instagram @Abilis_us.

The Greenwich Library system consists of the Main Library and its Byram Shubert and Cos Cob branches. The mission of Greenwich Library is to provide exceptional resources, programs and services that promote the joy of lifelong learning and discovery, and to offer a welcoming place for people to gather and share experiences. With 2,000 programs and events per year, the Library seeks to serve as the cultural and intellectual crossroads of the community. Greenwich Library has a total circulation of about 1.2 million, the highest reported in Connecticut. Greenwich Library was recently named a five-star library by Library Journal for the 11th time. Greenwich Library is located at 101 West Putnam Avenue in Greenwich. Cos Cob Library is located at 5 Sinawoy Road in Cos Cob. Byram Shubert Library is located at 21 Mead Avenue in Greenwich. More information is available online at www.greenwichlibrary.org or by calling 203-622-7900.