Independence Cafe at Congers Lake Park helps people with disabilities get real-world, work experience

The Independence Cafe is a small business with big meaning: to help people with disabilities get real-world work experience.

News 12 Staff

Jul 26, 2022, 9:40 PM

Updated 663 days ago

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There's a new cafe in Clarkstown that's serving up a sweet mission, but it needs the community for help to keep on going.
The Independence Cafe at Congers Lake Park in Congers is a small business with big meaning: to help people with disabilities get real-world work experience.
Raymond Woods says he will soon have two employees to train, with skills like dealing with customers and working the register.
The first month in operation has been slow, but he's hoping things will change soon.
"I know this park gets crowded, and I've been coming here for nine, 10 years now and it never had anything like this, so I think, with this here, once it gains traction, it's going to be a really good thing," says Woods.
The grab-and- go cafe is run under Bridges, a decades old local nonprofit with a mission to empower people with disabilities.
"So, we hope that people see that, and partner with us and see it as a mission-oriented facility, organization, business that's desiring to do something that could change the lives of people in the future. Especially people with disabilities," says Carlos Martinez, of Bridges.
As the Independence Cafe business grows, both their menu and impact will, too.
It is open every day of the week, weather permitting, but Congers Lake Park is only open to Clarkstown residents.


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