Dirt Coffee Bar truck will steer a course to help those with autism

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A new coffee and pastry truck will be rolling out this year that will not only serve drinks and other goodies, but also help those affected by autism spectrum disorders. Dirt Coffee Bar is a project of Garden Autism Services of Colorado, an organization that provides a wide variety of services to help individuals and families affected by ASD. The mission of Dirt, according to its website, is "to empower the autism community by providing young adults with the opportunity to grow personally, cultivate professional skills, and earn an income -- all while serving great coffee to the community."

See also: Agape Roasting Projects makes good coffee for good causes

Lauren Thome, founder of Garden, and Emily Wallace, a Garden therapist, co-founded Dirt, which is scheduled to launch in April. The project was originally designed as a coffee joint to be located in an office building downtown, but Garden was unable to find the right fit for the business. So Thome and Wallace decided that a truck would be the perfect alternative. "This will allow us the exposure and flexibility needed to have a successful launch," Thome says.

Initially the truck will employ two young adults affected by ASD, who will be trained in making coffee, bookkeeping and management. Dirt's goal is to hire two new employees every year, as the previous two take the skills they learned at Dirt into long-term employment in their community.

In addition to helping and empowering the autism community, Dirt will be serving 100 percent organic, fair-trade coffee roasted locally at Kaladi Brothers Coffee.

Both Thome and Wallace will head to Portland soon to take a business and coffee seminar at the American Barista and Coffee School -- so expect some serious coffee to come from the truck. "We're excited to be immersed in a city that has a thriving food truck and coffee culture and believe this will be an essential piece to Dirt's success," says Thome.

Look for the Dirt truck to hit the streets soon; in the meantime, find out more about Garden and Dirt Coffee Bar on their websites.

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