In July, Perfect Blend celebrated their one-year anniversary with the opening of their mobile coffee trailer, which is parked in front of St. Michael’s Brewing Company on weekday mornings from 7 to 11 a.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon.
The coffee trailer is also available for events. Book them for your next party, wedding or work event to refresh your guests with some delicious caffeine.
The mobile coffee trailer plans to partner with Emerald Coast Exceptional Families for upcoming events. The two organizations share a common mission and passion for helping families with exceptional abilities.
Kalli and Chris Clement opened Perfect Blend Coffee Company July 12, 2021, to create an atmosphere where people of all abilities can work and learn new skills.
Perfect Blends employs teenagers and adults with disabilities and hopes to inspire other businesses to do the same.
When applying to work at Perfect Blend, prospective employees don’t fill out your typical application. The questions are a little different.
“It looks at their strengths and weaknesses and their fine motor skills, their gross motor skills. Are they able to use the iPad, are they able to count money, things that you wouldn’t typically look at, but because we’re hiring people that may have never been in a work atmosphere, you kind of have to take a look at these things so we’re sure to put them in the right spot without overwhelming them,” Kalli said.
Using the iPad to take orders can be intimidating at first, but Kalli has added pictures so her employees have a visual key to find the drink.
She has watched her employees of all abilities learn and develop new skills. Kalli said that some of her workers who thought they would just be cleaning have learned how to take orders and make drinks and have learned independence and responsibility. Other employees have learned how to teach and train others and learned patience and modifications.
“Being a therapist, this is what I’m used to – people coming in that don’t have much experience and making those modifications,” Kalli said. “I’ve seen it impact people, not just giving these people that might not have been able to get a job elsewhere. I think it’s helped my other baristas be more accepting, and how they can make accommodations instead of just getting frustrated and doing it themselves, finding different ways to teach so the others are able to learn.”
Perfect Blend recently had their customers vote on what size drink they wanted added to the menu and 24-ounce won. The coffee shop now serves drinks in four sizes – 12-ounce, 16-ounce, 20-ounce and 24-ounce.
Perfect Blend is planning to open their second brick and mortar location in Milton in the coming months.
“We want to provide as many jobs as we can,” Kalli said.
Kalli and Chris are working out the details of the expansion, but what they know is the coffee shop will be larger than the original shop in Navarre and employ even more people of all different abilities.
July was Disability Awareness Month and Perfect Blend celebrated on their social media platforms by posting videos and images to educate the public about disabilities. Check out Perfect Blend’s Facebook, Instagram and TikTok pages to learn more.
Perfect Blend partners with the ESE department at Navarre High School to teach the students about work ethic and coffee. A few workers from the store go the ESE classroom once a week during the school year and the students learn how to fulfill coffee orders.
“Teachers order and then the kids have to figure out if they want mocha or caramel on their drink. They make them, deliver them and then have to do the change. And part of the proceeds goes back to the ESE program,” Kalli said. “It’s really fun and super rewarding.”
Kalli said the community has been super accepting of the mission of Perfect Blend and she is thankful.
Come enjoy the perfect cup of coffee served by people with different abilities. Support their mission of inclusion, all while quenching your thirst with a delicious cup of Joe.