IT WASN’T IMMEDIATELY SUCCESSFUL.
“It just felt like I was swimming upstream,” she says.
“I had tons of people that were looking for jobs but I
just didn’t have any employers that were looking to hire.
I had this data bank of names of people who wanted me
to help them find work. The coffee shop was born out of that
Allen Rippy Sr., owner of Rippy Cadillac, first heard
of Bitty & Beau’s Coffee while paddleboarding along the
Intracoastal Waterway in January 2016 with Mike Ashcraft,
pastor of Port City Community Church. Ashcraft’s daughter,
Maddie, is Amy’s executive assistant and manages the now-acclaimed
and living healthier.
WBM july 2017
coffee shop two days a week.
A traumatic brain injury resulting from surgery delayed
Maddie’s ability to communicate. It motivated her to work
with the disabled as her vocation.
Maddie had told her dad that the newly opened coffee shop
at the corner of Kerr and Wrightsville, then just Beau’s Coffee,
was already so popular the Wrights realized they needed a
“I stopped paddling and said, ‘They just need to come
put a coffee shop in my Hummer building, which had been
sitting idle,” Rippy says. “And two days later, we were sitting
down with Ben and Amy Wright. I had never even heard
about Beau’s, and now my office is in Bitty & Beau’s Coffee
He says he and the Wrights both took a leap of faith, which
turns out to be one of many next right steps both families say
they can attribute only to God.
“Our faith is the cornerstone of our lives and everything we
do,” Amy says.
The coffee shop’s enormous popularity and positive
press has propelled the Wrights to open a second location.
Among those leading the rallying cry has been former Food
Network star turned daytime talk show host Rachael Ray, who
remarked on her March 2, 2016, show that she wanted to see
a Bitty & Beau’s Coffee on “every corner in America.”
Ray featured the original Beau’s Coffee shop on her show
and in December 2016 announced Bitty & Beau’s Coffee
beans as the “official coffee of the Rachael Ray Show.”
“Bitty” Jane Adeline (who turns 8 in August) and Beau
(13 in July) recently made the big reveal on Facebook after
six weeks of polling the coffee shop’s 45,000 Facebook
followers. Their parents, they said, will be opening a second
location in Charleston, South Carolina, this fall.
“Every town has a population of people with intellectual
disabilities who need employment,” Amy says.
That is because nearly 80 percent of people with IDD are
jobless, statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor state —
a number that doesn’t go unnoticed by a dad who is a num-bers
guy with two children with disabilities.
“Outside of a place like Bitty & Beau’s, there is nowhere to
PHOTO BY JULIE WILSON
Thanks to NHRMC’s award-winning bariatric program,
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216418 nhrmc bariatric testimonial ad-wbm.indd 1 1/13/17 2:51 PM