Tuesday at Ten: Fire Roasted Coffee Company
Ability First: Your business ventures have been getting lots of attention. Can you tell us more about your business?
Fire Roasted Coffee : We are a diversified local food company which operates a coffee, chocolate and Farmers Market Business.
Fire Roasted Coffee : We have been in business since 2006 and just starting to figure it out…lol (laugh out loud).
Ability First: You definitely keep gaining momentum! How many employees do you currently have?
Fire Roasted Coffee : Well it’s almost unbelievable to me but we are up to 36 now.
Ability First: That’s fantastic to hear. Did you have any prior experience working with people with disabilities?
Fire Roasted Coffee : Yes, through my career I have worked with many people with disabilities and I think that early experience was important.
Ability First: How did that experience help shape your current outlook?
Fire Roasted Coffee : I realized that all are equal; it’s whether you can complete the required tasks. Everyone brings something unique.
Ability First: What were your initial feelings at first on hiring someone with a disability?
Fire Roasted Coffee : I thought it was great thing and was interested in seeing how our staff and customers felt about it.
Ability First: Why did you decide to hire someone with a disability?
Ability First: Can you describe some of the positions filled?
Fire Roasted Coffee : One position that was filled was a barista position that was responsible for service, brewing and taking cash. Another position was maintenance for the @WFFarmerMkt for general upkeep and cleaning.
Ability First: These positions were job carved. Can you explain more about this Hutton House?
Hutton House: Job carving is customized job placement. The employers needs are reviewed to create a new and/or specific job. Job carving addresses bottlenecks, special project needs and frees up experienced staff to make them more efficient.
Ability First: How did you go about finding the right person for the job?
Hutton House: Finding the right person for the job hinges on the right employer as well as strong communication between employer, employee and the support agency. ~Joe
Ability First: It sounds like these employees have worked out very well for you! Care to elaborate?
Fire Roasted Coffee: Have met few employees as passionate and caring about great outcomes than these people. SO GREAT!
Ability First: And when it comes to common myths that come to mind when people think about hiring those with disabilities?
Fire Roasted Coffee: Myths – special job tasks that don’t matter, customers don’t want to be served by them or that we are doing them a favour.
Ability First: These myths are being dispelled by employers like yourself! It starts with one but takes many.
Hutton House: We couldn’t agree more! ~Karen
Ability First: Were there any preconceptions you had about employing someone with a disability?
Fire Roasted Coffee: None. I was exposed early in my career to working with diverse types of people. This is important to our youth.
Hutton House : Inclusiveness is a win-win. It leads to long term benefits for communities. ~Karen
Ability First: The main thing you wanted to ensure was that the candidates were a fit for the positions you were hiring for, correct?
Hutton House: You’ve always been ready to do what it takes to bring out the ability of individuals. ~Joe
Fire Roasted Coffee: We met with the employee and Joe from @HuttonHouseLdn, discussed the issues and made a new path. It was good for the employee to have support from all sides and know that we wanted their success.
Ability First: You have said, “It has validated our beliefs that everyone is equal you just have to match skills and job requirements”. That is such an important outlook & one that @HuttonHouseLdn has been so great at assisting with.
Hutton House: We completely agree, it’s all about the right fit. ~Karen
Ability First: Have you ever faced any of your own personal barriers?
Fire Roasted Coffee: At the height of my corporate career I developed an anxiety/panic disorder. It was life altering but took me on a new positive path.
Ability First: Do you believe these barriers have helped you to have a more open outlook on hiring for Ability First?
Fire Roasted Coffee: It gave me personal and intimate understanding of mental health and how it can affect all of us.
Ability First: Well said! Many of us that have been in the same position & if we use our personal experience we help others grow (as well as ourselves). What is your advice for potential employers?
Fire Roasted Coffee: Hire away! You will find a community of committed individuals that are looking to make a difference and contribute.
Ability First: What did Dave do as an employer to make these placements successful?
Hutton House: He was open to new ideas to solve real business needs. Dave gave individuals a chance, as well as welcomed our support & expertise.
Fire Roasted Coffee: Regular meetings to assist with performance reviews and assistance for job coaching and mentorship.
Hutton House: There is always great coffee at the meetings! ~Joe
Fire Roasted Coffee: Always a benefit!
Fire Roasted Coffee: My pleasure, thank you.
Ability First: Thank you for joining us from Hutton House Joe and Karen!
Hutton House : Thanks so much for the chat! A pleasure to be a part of!