TAMPA - If you ever need a cup of coffee while at the Mercedes-Benz dealership in Tampa, Artistas Cafe is conveniently located inside.
Founder Vicky Westra also found it convenient to use the cafe to show the rest of us something she has always known. That those with disabilities like autism have great abilities as well. She knows this because her daughter is autistic.
Many customers that are served their coffee can't even tell these "Artistas" (their name for baristas), have autism. Unemployment for those on the autistic spectrum can be as high as 90%. For artista Russell Lambert, this is his first job and he uses it to educate his customers about autism.
Artistas Cafe is having their annual Best Bean of the Bay fundraiser tomorrow at Mercedes-Benz of Tampa where local restaurants and high schools will take part in a head-to-head competition - all including coffee and/or cocoa.
The event starts at 6:00 pm, tickets start at $40 and can be bought at the door.