Lil E Coffee Café opened in early 2021, in the newly renovated Ampersand building located in downtown Calgary at 140 4th Ave SW. Lil E is more than a coffee café. They are ‘Brewing Greatness’ by providing meaningful employment opportunities to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Lil E was inspired by Founder/Director, Paul Constance’s three-year-old daughter, Ella, who has Down syndrome. Through the experience of raising a child with Down syndrome, Constance and his wife Alana (Ella’s Mom), discovered there is a gap between the Canadian workforce and individuals with disabilities who are able and willing to work.
“These individuals are not successfully finding paid, consistent work opportunities,” says Constance. “I didn’t want that to be the case for Ella when she is an adult. We saw an opportunity to make change.”
Lil E is not just a job opportunity. They are facilitating a journey for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities to build meaningful and long-lasting careers; in turn creating a more accepting and inclusive community.
Lil E’s BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) as a registered charity is to build 10,000 bright futures, one cup at a time. Using Lil E as career platform for these individuals, as they craft their skills and transition into a future career. When Lil E team members are ready to further apply their workplace experience, they are connected with future opportunities through the Lil E Roasters (their corporate friends). Lil E Roasters are fabulous sponsors who have shown immense generosity in this endeavour of Brewing Greatness with personal or corporate donations in amounts at our LuckE or Xtra-Awesome levels. These individuals and organizations have set a foundation for success.
These wonderful corporations share the café’s values and are aligned to hire Lil E employees and/or candidates in their pipeline
“Greatness starts with a belief that each person has what it takes to succeed,” says Constance, describing the Lil E mantra which is what makes us difference, makes us great! “We want to ensure important awareness for our local community. We have received overwhelming support from Calgarians and internationally since opening in early February, and we are looking forward to using our platform to create a culture of acceptance and inclusion.”
Stay tuned about exciting expansion news with Joey Moss Foundation and Winnifred Stewart Association for Edmonton Lil E location along with Toronto Lil E Café in 2022.