Maplewood, MO — What started as a home-roasting coffee hobby for owner Barry Larson quickly became a way to both foster a long lasting job for a person with disabilities AND connect with a whole new community of people. After 5 years of roasting coffee in small batches in the back room of an
art studio in Maplewood, developing a wholesale business, and doing direct retailing through farmers markets, Arthouse Coffees opened Living Room in December 2014, a coffee shop and bakery in the old Black Cat Theater on Sutton in Maplewood, a community of which they are swelling with pride to be a part.
Their social mission is to welcome a diverse workforce made up of people with disabilities whose potential has gone unrecognized. They seek employees who face significant challenges to traditional employment, and do everything in their power to offer a meaningful and long lasting job experience. Their employees bring a unique perspective to customer service and they hire people who care deeply about providing customers with a high quality experience. Utilizing job-coaching supports, the employees at The Living Room are set up for success in a dynamic work environment. Moreover, they get to participate in creating a coffee shop and bakery that Barry hopes will become an important part of the local community in Maplewood, MO and the surrounding St. Louis Area.