WILMINGTON – The popular Bitty and Beau’s Coffee shop, which recently opened a new, bigger location with a new name on New Centre Drive, received a special visitor from Washington, D.C. on Monday afternoon.
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) stopped by to see owners Amy and Ben Wright, parents to six-year-old Bitty and twelve-year-old Beau, and several of the cafe’s 40 employees.
Burr, the senior senator from the Tar Heel state, championed the “ABLE to Work” Act, which allows people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to save money they earned through jobs at places like Bitty and Beau’s without losing benefits. The legislation improves on the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014, which allowed families of children with such disabilities to save money through long-term savings accounts.
“It’s nice to have him come and visit all the employees, especially since he was so instrumental in getting the ABLE to Work Act,” Amy Wright said, adding that she’s thankful for the awareness Burr’s work and visit brings to the issues facing adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “It really validates what they do and makes them feel good.”
Burr stayed about 40 minutes, talking to employees and families of other children with disabilities that gathered to see the senator. Though Bitty and Beau’s is known for their coffee, Burr ordered something a little more refreshing on the hot summer day: a strawberry mango smoothie.