Dialogue Coffee Shop

Taylor Lincoln & Rebecca Donaldson

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A new coffee shop opened with a unique environment unlike any other in the city. Dialogue Coffee House, located in the shopping center off SW 29th and Gage, opened earlier this month serving over 300 customers on day one. The coffee shop hires individuals with IDD, intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Washburn Rural alumni, Caitlyn Halsey, opened her own coffee shop after competing in the Top Tank Topeka contest in 2018.

I am only 20 years old. My age comes with both advantages and disadvantages. I have loved coming into the business world with new ideas and a fresh perspective, but also have had to overcome great obstacles due to age,” Halsey said.

The coffee shop has all kinds of hot and iced drinks, as well as sweet and savory food options. They’re open Monday through Friday 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

“The goal of Dialogue is to begin conversation that differences are okay and should even be celebrated. What a boring world we would live in if we all looked the same, acted the same, and even thought the same,” Halsey said.

Starting his first job, Jonathan Scherer enjoys interacting with the customers as he cleans tables and delivers drinks.

“My favorite thing at work is seeing the people and wearing my name badge,” Scherer said. “I wanted to work here because I wanted a chance to make my own money.”

Dialogue Coffee House adds a new perspective to the Topeka community, bringing positivity and acceptance with it.

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