Stepping Stone's 'A Latte Love' coffee shop helping developmentally disabled workers develop skills

Posted at 7:00 AM, Feb 11, 2017

LITTLETON, Colo. -- For Krista Marquez, the best part of working at Stepping Stone’s A Latte Love Coffee Shop each week is getting to know the customers.

But she says the real benefit of being a member of the co-op is gaining job skills.

“We have different jobs. We have the register, the barista station here, ice & syrups, drink deliverer, label deliverer, the label writer and the greeter,” she said as she gave Denver7’s Hanna Atkinson a brief tour. “The first time I was the greeter, the cashier and I tried barista once and didn’t like it, too much craziness.”

“In the coffee shop they learn to work in a fast paced environment,” explained Will Giltner, the advisor for the Coffee Team. “They learn how to work on machinery such as espresso machine and our cash register. They also learn different social skills, customer service skills with our customers and with each other.”

Giltner says the ultimate goal is to give the members job skills that will help them get jobs outside of the co-op.

“It’s giving them confidence at their own program to be able to run a coffee shop so that eventually we can get them out into the coffee shops like Starbucks and everywhere that’s offering jobs.”

For Krista, finding that perfect job outside the co-op will mean finding a job working directly with customers.

“You know, like customer service and getting to meet new people and helping friends out when they need it,” she said. “And making people laugh during the day, because I love making people laugh in the morning.”

A Latte Love is open every Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Columbine Hills Church of the Nazarene at 9700 Old Coal Mine Avenue in Littleton. If you stop in for coffee, you may also want to take a little extra money. Stepping Stone also has a product team which makes things like lip balm, candles and lotions. Those items are for sale while the coffee shop


Sign up for Denver7 email alerts to stay informed about breaking news and daily headlines.

Or, keep up-to-date by following Denver7 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.