If you haven’t been to Rise & Nye’s yet for a delicious cup of coffee and mouthwatering beignet, you are truly missing out. However, Rise & Nye’s, located on State Street (across from Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s future downtown Sarasota Philanthropy Center) delivers more than just a great cup of Joe. The coffee shop is about inclusion, acceptance, and opportunity for all, and their employees are truly what makes the exceptional experience unique. Gulf Coast Community Foundation is honored to support Rise & Nye’s and their incredible mission.
In order to know Rise & Nye’s, you must know Inclusion Revolution, the 501(c) (3) nonprofit founded by Beaver Shriver, co-founder of Rise & Nye’s. Inclusion Revolution is a relatively new nonprofit and the backbone driving the Rise & Nye’s mission. The majority of individuals with intellectual disabilities do not have employment opportunities to share their gifts. Rise & Nye’s serves as a training ground, providing job training and jobs for people with exceptionalities, which also benefits the health and well-being of the individuals and our community.
Gulf Coast Community Foundation has been in support of Inclusion Revolution in several ways since its grand opening just over one year ago. First came a $1,000 Community Grant to assist their mission in fiscal year 2021. Then, through the Gould Family Trust (a legacy fund), Gulf Coast awarded a $5,000 Sponsorship Grant to Inclusion Revolution. Legacy gifts, endowed funds that donors like Mr. Alvin Gould entrusted to Gulf Coast, are supported in perpetuity.
Recently, a $5,000 Community Grant from Gulf Coast Community Foundation to Inclusion Revolution launched a fundraising campaign for a Rise & Nye’s Food Truck. The goal of the food truck is to give employees experience with catering so they can further engage with the community.
Gulf Coast sat down with Beaver Shriver to learn more about this inclusive coffee shop. Beaver shared that he grew up with a friend named Barry in Pennsylvania who had autism. He was proud to be Barry’s friend. Barry timed out of school at 18 years old and got a job at the hospital. Forty years later and Barry is still thriving at his job at the hospital. Beaver shared how so many people like Barry don’t get the opportunity to have a job. Instead, they are forgotten, excluded, marginalized, and in the past, even institutionalized. Now Beaver gets to experience joy every day by working with his team and staff of differently-abled individuals. Baristas like Kelley (who showed off her beautiful ballroom dancing skills while we were there) have the opportunity to shine at Rise & Nye’s. Now our community gets to meet and interact with people like Kelley who end the fear of difference and make customers realize that we are all alike, despite our small differences. Beaver’s favorite part of the job? Hanging with his group of employees, getting to know them better, and letting them thrive in their environment. They certainly do a great job at Rise & Nye’s.
And yet, there is another side to all of this. Rise & Nye’s is in a prime location downtown and rent is not cheap. They currently have 35 employees with many more on the waiting list. They need more opportunities and are hoping that things like the Food Truck and working within the community will help them grow.
We hope this story inspires you to visit Rise & Nye’s for the exceptional customer service where no two visits are ever the same. For when we share our gifts with each other, our region grows stronger.