As the mother of a child with a developmental disability, Kathleen wanted to create opportunities to empower her son and help him be independent.
As Charlie started middle school, Kathleen was inspired to set up a cafe which taught cooking skills to students with special needs. She continued the mission at Charlie’s high school, where she set up a cafe run collaboratively by students in the special day class and their high school peers.
The idea and resolve for Ada’s came from Kathleen’s personal experience and she now takes over as a chef, mother, activist, and advocate for her employees. Her passion for elevating the lives of adults with disabilities inspires a strong work ethic and fosters a warm and welcoming community. Kathleen is honored and humbled to be entrusted with the growth, care and elevation of her employees.
Ada's Cafe is a 501(c)(3), non-profit corporation dedicated to hiring, training and empowering our employees with disabilities. Ada's Cafe is Where Good Food and Community Meet. We strive to create delicious food and drinks in an environment that is warm and friendly to let our customers know we care about them. Ada's also conducts collaborative research on improving workplaces for people with disabilities.
Our core values:
Stopping by Ada's for a cup of coffee or using our catering services has a lasting impact on the lives of our employees.
Your charitable contribution allows our business to succeed, which allows us to provide more work and training opportunities for our employees with disabilities.
Oh, and we are a Green Business: sourcing local ingredients, supplies and using over 90% compostable materials
What's in a Name?
Growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania one of the neighborhood kids had a Grandma Ada who was warm and welcoming and treated all the kids in the neighborhood to whatever she was cooking that day. Kathleen loved her own Nana very much but loved the warmth that Grandma Ada had for everyone.
The name Ada's Cafe also has another important meaning and is the foundation for the work we do at Ada's — the Americans with Disabilities Act — passed into law in 1990 to ensure equal opportunities for people with disabilities.
And that is why, "Ada's Cafe" was the best choice for our name.