Coffee shop brews up kindness

From left: Kindness Ambassador Greg Hind is joined by A Kinder Cup owners Chief Petty Officer First Class (Retired) Marc Dufort and Kim Dufort as they raise a toast to their new coffee shop at Admirals Walk Plaza. Photo by Peter Mallett, Lookout

From left: Kindness Ambassador Greg Hind is joined by A Kinder Cup owners Chief Petty Officer First Class (Retired) Marc Dufort and Kim Dufort as they raise a toast to their new coffee shop at Admirals Walk Plaza. Photo by Peter Mallett, Lookout

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

The owners of a new coffee shop in Admirals Walk Plaza have opened up with the purpose of hiring adults with developmental disabilities.

A Kinder Cup, aptly named, is run by Chief Petty Officer First Class (Retired) Marc Dufort and his wife Kim. It opened last December and among their staff of 12, five employees have a developmental disability. 

“Normally a business employs people to do a job, but at A Kinder Cup we create jobs to employ people with disabilities, and this is a great venue to do it,” explains CPO1 (Ret’d) Dufort.

He has first-hand knowledge of the obstacles facing people with disabilities in Canada as his brother has an intellectual disability and has suffered from epileptic seizures from a young age.

“I have seen the other side of our great country, the low level of support my brother had for leading a normal life and I really felt that frustration. When Kim approached me with this idea, I eagerly supported her.”

His wife is a former community support worker who supported adults with a developmental disability for over 30 years in the Greater Victoria area. The idea for A Kinder Cup brewed to fruition after Kim read a Facebook post about a coffee shop in Wilmington, N.C., called Bitty and Beau’s who hires adults with a developmental disability.

“That story from North Carolina planted a seed for us,” said Kim.

When CPO1 (Ret’d) Dufort left the military in 2018 and enrolled in Royal Roads University’s Bachelor of Commerce in Entrepreneurial Management, the coffee shop went from idea to brick and mortar.

“Everything we do at the shop is in line with what I study,” he says.

Kim manages the bulk of the operation, and recently employed a former co-worker, Greg Hind, as one of five Kindness Ambassadors in the store.

“I like the whole idea of the coffee shop being inclusive, it makes me feel good,” says Hind, 40. “I really like my job here because I get to interact with people and take the food and drinks out to people. Working here actually helps me relax.”

Having a job gives the Kindness Ambassadors much more than just a pay cheque, says Kim.

“Employment is a thing many of us take for granted, but for adults with a developmental disability employment is much more. It’s about a feeling of contribution and self-confidence along with the pride of being part of a team. We want to highlight their abilities rather than their disabilities. ” 

Each Kindness Ambassador is individually trained by coaches from their employment agencies. Coaches make sure the new employees get settled into their jobs with help from the other employees known as Kindness Mentors.

For more information about A Kinder Cup visit their website: www.akindercup.ca or grab a cup of java and a sandwich from a Kindness Ambassador.

Filed Under: Top Stories

About the Author: The Lookout Newspaper can trace its history back to April 1943 when CFB Esquimalt’s first newspaper was published. Since then, Lookout has grown into the award winning source for Pacific Navy News. Leading the way towards interactive social media reach, we are a community resource newspaper growing a world wide audience.

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  1. Shanni says:

    This is a fantastic idea! I am GOING to this A Kinder Cup when I head over to the Island this summer.

  2. Heather Parker says:

    What a lovely thing to do

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