Hi! My name is Taylor Matkins, I am from Greenville, North Carolina and I am one of the brains of Lucky Ones Coffee. Many people ask me "Why do you work with people with disabilities?" or "Why open a coffee shop?" I can remember the exact moment that I realized working with individuals with disabilities was my passion. My entire life I always wanted to be an architect or interior designer, I wanted to build beautiful houses for people and design their homes with gorgeous antique furniture until my sophomore year of high school. I had a high school softball coach that was an adaptive PE teacher, Lara Brickhouse, and she told me about the Miracle League baseball team and thought I should come out to volunteer and support individuals with disabilities play baseball. I showed up so nervous because I had never volunteered with this population before but within minutes all my hesitations disappeared. I had never experienced a group of individuals that welcomed me in with such open arms and excitement. I came that day to support them and left feeling like the most important person there. I realized that day that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I wanted to feel this way in my career everyday and provide a service to individuals to disabilities that made them feel the same way. I think in life people take for granted all the little things that make life so great and working with this population you get to see the pride and joy on their faces from just doing the smallest things.
Why coffee? I went to college at UNC-Wilmington and my last few years there a coffee shop now called Bitty's & Beau's Coffee that employed individuals with intellectual and cognitive disabilities. Once again, I found myself in a place that pride and joy flourished from wall to wall. You could see on their employee's faces the pure bliss that came from a job they could be proud of and the independence they acquired from it. When I moved to Park City, Utah I thought what a perfect place to recreate that atmosphere. I think a coffee shop is an incredible idea because a fresh brewed cup of coffee has a way of waking you up, making you feel warm inside and ready to accomplish whatever is ahead. Our employees with disabilities give you that same enthusiasm. I have been blessed with amazing people in my life that have motivated and provided me with opportunities to be able to open Lucky Ones Coffee. I'm looking forward to seeing the growth within our staff and the independence created in our coffee shop! We hope to see y'all there!