Kathleen decides to open a student-run cafe at Terman Middle School in Palo Alto, after realizing that there were limited vocational educational options for students. The Terman Tasty Treats Cafe becomes a place where students with special needs learn useful skills in food preparation, customer service, money handling, and cleanup — all in the shelter of a school community.
2005 Gunning for Equality
As Charlie and other special needs students graduate and move on to Gunn High School, Kathleen and family set up the Gunn Gourmet Cafe in the high school staff lounge. Peer volunteers work along with the special needs students to create a warm, welcoming cafe.
2010 Snack Attack
Kathleen sets up the Snack Shack at the Babe Ruth Ball Park in Palo Alto. Employees are trained to run the hot dog and burger stand. Ada’s Catering also launches, providing gourmet food for business and community functions. The catering service increases job opportunities for people with disabilities.
2010 Greener Pastures
Competing against several popular coffee and food businesses in the area, Ada’s wins the bid to be the cafe vendor at the Mitchell Park Community Center. The team at Ada’s begins taking shape as training starts for the soon-to- be opened cafe.
2014 Let Them Drink Coffee
Ada’s Cafe opens its doors in December 2014. On opening day, thousands come to Mitchell Park, and Ada's serves 5,000 of its delicious chocolate chip cookies.
2016: Our Five-Year Plan: A Golden State of Mind
Ada's looks forward to scaling its unique social enterprise all around the Bay Area. We think an Ada's Cafe in every county in the Bay Area is a great goal for the next five years.