Coffee shop offers opportunity for those with special needs

**Embargo: Hartford-New Haven, Conn.** Julie's Cup of Joe offers much more than just coffee.

WESTBROOK, Conn. (WFSB) — A new coffee shop opened this week in Westbrook, and it isn’t your average ‘cup of Joe.’

Joe and Julie Campbell are brewing something special in Westbrook, opening a new coffee shop in a long-vacant storefront on Boston Post Road.

It’s fittingly called “Julie’s Cup of Joe,” and they’re on a mission to serve up more than just coffee.

For them, hiring people with special needs is a labor of love.

“I went home to him and said ‘so somebody stopped me and said we should do this and here’s all the information,’ and he said, ‘this could work’,” Julie said.

The couple said it will give people with special needs an opportunity they seldom get.

Joe and Julie are hoping to one day create a work-study program with local high schools, where students who have special needs can learn on-the-job skills.

“I believe there’s 40 percent of the population of special needs that have a job. Many of them are able to work but there aren’t a lot of jobs around and this is something that I think works well with many of their talents,” Joe said.

The business also supports local artists and small businesses.

Julie’s Cup of Joe is holding a grand opening Sept. 1.