Friendship Circle reopens Soul Cafe in West Bloomfield Township

WEST BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The Friendship Circle helps more than 3,000 people with special needs along with their families.

The Soul Cafe in West Bloomfield Township is one of its programs. It’s the neighborhood spot where you can come and pick up lunch or a cup of coffee. And while it appears the community is excited to see the place reopen, nothing compares to the excitement of the staff.

“I get to see my friends and my co workers,” said David Kole, head barista at the cafe.

Kole has been out of work for the past year.

READ: Friendship Circle of Michigan buys bakery to expand job options for people with special needs

But once people started getting vaccinated, the owners of the cafe decided it was time to give it back to the community and give back the opportunities it provides to young adults with special needs.

“Their confidence is being built here, their potential is being realized right here, and that was just kind of shut down. So, when we started finally talking about reopening, it’s like they’re beside themselves with excitement,” said Bassie Shemtov, co-founder and director of Friendship Circle.

While it is a tough time to reopen any type of restaurant right now, Shemtov said they’re following all protocols and the workers are making sure everyone is safe.

“They’re very positive. And it’s really focusing on ‘Yay, we have lots of outdoor seating, we have overhead great heaters right now, we just brought it in,’” she said.

Kole is still getting used to serving up a cup of coffee with a mask on but he said that he makes the best cup in town.

“It’s made with quality love, and it’s the person who makes it very special, which is me,” he said.

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