Shellharbour’s reputation as an inclusive community soared higher on Tuesday when Carly Bishop, 21, launched a new coffee delivery business at Stockland Shellharbour.
Ms Bishop has a moderate intellectual disability. And while her mother Leonie Bishop and Settlement Services International’s Merenia Marin ensured she got the information, advice and help every startup needs.
Carly is a capable young woman who has gained more independence by setting up her own business.
“Today is a special day for me because I never thought I could have my own business,” she said.
“But here we are I am launching a business that I am very proud to be working in. I love delivering coffee to all my customers because they really make my day very happy.”
Carly’s Coffee Couriers is a unique service that involves her accepting orders and picking up coffee from local coffee shops and delivering to customers.
“I have different businesses who text me through an order,” she said.
Ms Marin said Settlement Services International works with startups such as Carly’s and helps them develop a business model and plan.
She said coffee delivery concept was Carly’s own brainchild and the trial of the business went so well prior she has already employed another young woman with an intellectual ability who is just as eager to provide a great coffee delivery service in Shellharbour.
“We have helped start 20 business in the last year,” Ms Marin said.
The Coffee Club Shellharbour manager Krista Viselli said it was a great idea that is already working well.
Ms Marins said it had been amazing to work with Carly since she came into her office just over a year ago with an idea nobody else had come to her with before.
“She is what we would describe as a very passionate entrepreneur. Her idea is about real business and real economic development. It is about bringing the community together and it is also about inclusion,” she said.
“She is helping change the perception about what people with a disability can do and what they can actually contribute. With Maddy now employed as well we have two young people in this business. They are the most proactive and most resourceful client I have.”
Stockland Shellharbour and various coffee vendors trading inside the shopping centre quickly supported the new coffee delivery concept..
“This is such a good idea,” Ms Viselli said.
At the launch Mrs Bishop said she was excited for her daughter and confident Carly’s Coffee Couriers will be a great success after such a successful trial.
“Today is about doing something you enjoy”.
“And for anyone who knows Carly they know she loves to have a chat. Today is about thinking outside the square and meeting different people. It is about being part of the community and serving that community.“
Mrs Bishop thanked all those who had been supportive and believed in Carly’s capabilities and vision.