Our Gathering Place Cafe

In SPRING 2020, Josh Dyer and Brian Phelps - with the help of their mother Mary - will embark on a new journey together as business owners of OUR GATHERING PLACE, an inclusive cafe in historic downtown Bristol CT. As an homage to their beloved aunt Ashley, whose goal in life was to help others (and who loved coffee more than anyone we've ever known!), OUR GATHERING PLACE LLC. will employ members of the community with intellectual and developmental disorders.  OGP will be the first of its kind! Josh and Brian have already formed their own LLC; they will be hiring their own job coaches, chefs and wait staff; they will learn all the facets of owning a small business, from ordering inventory, to assisting with payroll, and of course, greeting their guests (which shouldn't be too hard for these affable young men!). They will do it all. 

The coolest part of their mission is that they'll be hiring and training other folks with intellectual disabilities through their training courses at the cafe that have been developed with the assistance from The Department of Developmental Services (DDS)! 

OGP aims to INSPIRE, INCLUDE and CELEBRATE COMMUNITY. Like Ashley, we believe that inclusivity is paramount, coffee equals conversation and is universal, and that a strong sense of community is needed now more than ever. We can't wait to create a home for everyone.

We can not do what they aspire to do without grants and donations. The boys recently received a 50k grant from DDS, which will assist in the buildout of the historic Bristol Press Company on Main Street in Bristol, CT.  For every dollar they raise, The Bristol Economic Development Fund will match up to 60k! How cool is that. 

Please consider making a personal or corporate donation to OUR GATHERING PLACE, either through this page or by mail. 
Melaney Case
Webster Bank
392 West Main Street
Avon, CT 06001

Brian and Joshua thank you from the bottom of their hearts. ❤️

PS. Please continue to follow this page for updates re. the buildout of our charming building, photos of the progress, menu teasers, and dates/events/happenings along the way! 

  • Frances Klimczak  
    • $80 
    • 27 mos
  • Frances Klimczak  
    • $20 
    • 28 mos
  • Joanne Gilland 
    • $50 
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  • Frank and Sue Meaney 
    • $50 
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  • Serena Frasco 
    • $20 
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Mary Howley 
Canton, CT
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