Dave Donald and Ryan Clark, Co CEO’s and Founders of PeopleShare, in 2005, built their company with an entrepreneurial spirit in mind. They wanted to create a staffing agency that was unique and innovative in that it supported both candidates and businesses.
PeopleShare’s spirit can be seen in its support of local non-profit organizations. As a company, they provide assistance through sponsorships and donations to many local non-profit organizations, which brings us to Jakes Baristas, a non-profit organization located in Norristown, PA. PeopleShare had the pleasure of employing Angela McFarland, who currently runs Jakes Baristas as a Recruiter for five years.
Angela’s son, Jake, was diagnosed as Autistic at a very young age, and since that time, Angela and her husband, Jason, have been Jake’s biggest advocates. Angela and Jason were uncertain about Jake’s future after graduation, and this lead to the creation of Jakes Baristas when Jake was in high school.
When COVID-19 first hit PA, and everything closed down, Jake’s day to day routine of attending school was disrupted. Angela had to find a way to keep Jake engaged and get him back into a consistent routine. In high school, Jake was a part of a vocational program that allowed him to have four or five jobs, and he loved it! Angela recognized Jake had a great work ethic, and using her experience as a recruiter, she knew she could help Jake have some resemblance of a regular schedule by investing in his passion – Coffee.
Jake would spend hours researching different brewing techniques on YouTube, learning about the roasting process and self-teaching, what it takes to brew a great cup of coffee. This lead to Jake’s coffee cart being born.
Just like PeopleShare, Angela’s entrepreneurial spirit kicked into gear. She saw her son’s passion for coffee and knew she could engage Jake and provide him with an outlet as well as something to look forward to each day. The response to the coffee cart was overwhelming. Over 300 people supported Jake and provided donations that Angela sent to a local charity, Best Buddies.
Since that day, Jakes Baristas has grown into quite the fixture within Angela and Jason’s store, Vinyl Closet Records. Jake does not profit from the cart, and there is no fixed price for the coffee. It is all donation based. With that said, Jake and his family have donated over six thousand dollars to local charities, crates of toys, and they are a local drop off station for numerous animal shelters.
Angela has not only provided an outlet for Jake, but she plans to provide support to special education students who want to learn customer service and business skills. She will use her recruiting experience to teach students how to prepare for an interview and all that that entails. But that is not all – Angela will also educate local employers on adapting their hiring processes and work environments for future special education students looking for employment.
PeopleShare is proud to sponsor Jakes Baristas and wishes Jake and Angela the very best! Be sure to follow Jake on social media for some great upcoming events – https://www.facebook.com/baristajake.