These Coffee Shops Are Creating Inclusive Hiring Opportunities

These Southeastern Wisconsin cafes are doing more than just serving a cup of joe.

Inclusion Coffee Company, which opened on March 28 in Hartland, works to give people with disabilities a fun yet challenging opportunity to learn valuable on-the-job experience and training in skills such as cooking, baking, crafting drinks, money handling and customer service.

Owner Mackenzie Edinger opened the coffee shop with the goal of having more than 50% of staff positions filled by people with disabilities.

“A lot of people don’t have the opportunity to be in work settings, and they don’t have the opportunities that we’re giving them here,” Edinger says.

Edinger completed her undergraduate in teaching special education from UW-Whitewater and is currently completing her masters in educational leadership and policy analysis at UW-Madison. She wants to use her teaching degree to make the coffee shop a space where these people with disabilities feel as equally valued and important in their community.

“It’s all about bringing the community together and being a happy and fun place,” Edinger says. “Everyone’s always happy here.”

Two other Southeastern Wisconsin coffee shops, Inspired Coffee (opened in 2020) and Friendship Circle Cafe & Bakery (opened in 2019) share similar missions to Inclusive Coffee Company. 


Where to Grab a Cup: 

Inclusion Coffee Company

3152 VILLAGE SQUARE DR. HARTLAND

The coffee shop serves Berres Brothers Coffee Roasters from Watertown and offers coffee, juices, smoothies, bakery items, breakfast sandwiches, pinsa and more. Current hours are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Photo courtesy of Inclusion Coffee

Friendship Circle Cafe & Bakery

8649 N PORT WASHINGTON RD. FOX POINT

Grab a cup of Colectivo coffee paired with a delicious baked good from this cafe and bakery that works to encourage friendship through an inclusive community for people with disabilities. Current hours are Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Inspired Coffee

883 MAIN ST. LAKE GENEVA

Located in Downtown Lake Geneva, Inspired employs individuals with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities, creating a space where they are celebrated, job-trained, coached and, over time, placed into a fully integrated work setting. They offer coffee from Boxed and Burlap Coffee Roastery. Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

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