“Our Gathering Place” Awardee of the IDPAC Innovative Employment Outcome Pilot

October 4, 2019

Joshua Dyer and Brian Phelps

Joshua Dyer and Brian Phelps; self-proclaimed brothers, owners
and developers of "Our Gathering Place" in Bristol, CT

The Department of Developmental Services and the Intellectual Disability Partnership Advisory Council recently announced the 21 awardees selected to participate in the Intellectual Disability Partnership Innovative Employment Outcomes Pilot. Interested entities were asked to submit business plans for an innovative or alternative business model that employs or encourages the employment of individuals with intellectual disability. The pilot program focuses on providing support and resources to ensure the success of new business ventures that integrate individuals with intellectual disability. The department hopes these business models will also provide a framework for other entities interested in similar work.

Two of the awardees selected for the pilot are Brian Phelps and Joshua Dyer, self-proclaimed brothers, owners and developers of “Our Gathering Place” in Bristol, CT. Brian and Joshua wanted to create café and deli with a fresh concept. Together they agreed that “Our Gathering Place” would “point to a future in which people with disabilities can participate in higher education, equitable paying jobs, contribute to and create relationships within the community.” Along with serving breakfast, lunch, grab and go meals, coffee and tea, the café will also provide a three month training program and employment opportunities for persons with intellectual and physical disabilities.

“Our Gathering Place” will be located on 99 Main Street in Bristol. Make sure to check them out!