Originally published in Spectrum Local News

RALEIGH, N.C. — Gabi’s Grounds Coffee is a family affair. While others are contracting during the pandemic, the shop is growing and creating opportunities for others with special needs.


What You Need To Know

    • Gabi’s Grounds Coffee Shop started in 2017
    • Having outgrown their home they recently moved the online business to a co-warehousing space
    • Numbers from the governor’s office showed the employment rate of working-age people with disabilities is about 35 percent

Spectrum News 1 caught up with the mother daughter duo as they appeared on a Better Business Bureau podcast, after recently completing its three-month course on growing their online business.

The journey began in 2017 when Mary noticed the struggle her daughter Gabi faced, trying to find work.

“When you see your child being turned down from job after job after job, then you feel like, you know what I need to do something here,” said Angelini.

Two weeks ago they took a huge leap forward, moving the company from their home to a warehouse space in Raleigh.

“Now it’s all in one space, more business-like, and we have a place to come to that’s work. It feels right,” says Angelini.

Gabi’s getting used to working in the new space.

“It’s really fun. I like making the packets of coffee,” says Gabi.

They’re filling a large order from the National Down Syndrome Society, alongside those they love.

“I’m working with my friends today,” Gabi says.  “They’re really fun to hang out with. They love being hard workers.  I’m a hard worker and my mom’s a hard worker too.

There’s lots hard work ahead as they push towards the ultimate dream, of opening up a shop. Gabi envisions dance parties, karaoke night and open mic nights.

Her mother, who doesn’t come from a business background, says this venture has become her calling.

“I feel like God put me here especially to do this, to empower people. That’s our mission, is to empower people with special needs to find fulfillment.”