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New coffee shop at Tampa’s Pepin Academy training students with disabilities to be baristas

Buddy Brew Coffee and TeBella Tea are sponsors
Buddy Brew Barista Training Lab sign
Posted at 3:35 AM, Feb 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-27 06:19:44-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Maxwell Whitacre is learning how to use an espresso machine. Next, he will learn how to ring up the coffee on a cash register. 

“I’m really excited about this,” says Max, a senior at Tampa’s Pepin Academy. “I think I’ll be a good barista.”

Pepin prepares students with learning disabilities for careers after graduation.

Max is learning the java ropes at the new Pepin Cafe, a fully operational coffee shop inside the school opening this week.

Tampa-based companies Buddy Brew Coffee and TeBella Tea Company are providing the tasty goods to be served to students, teachers and visitors.

“It brings tears to our eyes to see what’s happening here,” says Susan Ward, owner of Buddy Brew. “These kids are learning these amazing skill sets which they can then take into the workforce.”