Today we’d like to introduce you to Steve Berg.
Hi Steve, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start, maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers.
My wife Amy and I opened Work & Play Cafe in March 2022 as an inclusive, family-friendly community cafe and meeting space. We employ individuals with disabilities and host various inclusive events in the cafe for people of all ages and abilities to connect with each other and enjoy.
The idea to create Work & Play Cafe came from our other business, Skill & Ability Education. At Skill & Ability, we provide vocational rehabilitation/employment services for individuals with disabilities. From our work with clients through Skill & Ability, we wanted to create a welcoming, fun, and inclusive space for the community, with current and former clients in mind.
Prior to starting Work & Play Cafe and Skill & Ability Education, I was a Special Educator, and my wife Amy was a School Social Worker. Our previous education and experience led us to start Skill & Ability Education in 2018.
We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
We’ve encountered some bumps in the road as we’ve gotten Work & Play Cafe up and running. Opening a cafe during Covid has presented challenges with people feeling comfortable to come to a new place in the community. We’ve tried to offer different events that the community is interested in to get more community members involved. Some events have included: movie night, game night, karaoke night, trivia night, volunteer club, children’s morning activities, etc. We also have room rentals and cafe rentals available for guests to host their own events/parties in the cafe.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
As small business owners, Amy and I have put countless hours and efforts into our passion of inclusion. At Work & Play Cafe, we specialize in creating an inclusive, comfortable, inviting cafe setting for people of all ages and abilities to connect with each other. From our previous work at Skill & Ability and our backgrounds in special education and school social work, we have unique perspective on supporting individuals with disabilities in order to empower them to improve their quality of life through life experiences and employment, leading to greater independence.
Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
Our hope is that Work & Play Cafe can be an inspiration to others to be more inclusive in their communities, in work, and in their daily lives. Everyone deserves the opportunity to feel comfortable, understood, and accepted for their strengths and challenges. At Work & Play Cafe, we strive to provide that environment that fosters growth for individuals, groups, and the community. Starting out, spreading the word and getting more and more people involved has been challenging at times, but we continue to build our Work & Play Cafe community and can see the word gradually spreading and more people getting involved.
- Complimentary Club: FREE, gives access to the Work, Game, and Play Room at the cafe.
- Premium Perks: $10/month, includes a coffee mug and 10% off all purchases
- Super Supporter: $30/month, includes a shirt, mug, monthly room rental, and 20% off all cafe purchases
- No membership required to enjoy the cafe or FREE cafe events!