No Limits Cafe is expected to open in January 2019. It is taking over Rigoletto’s in Middletown/Red Bank, which closed in June. The cafe is located at 418 NJ-35, Red Bank, NJ 07701.
No Limits Cafe will be a lunch cafe hiring people with Intellectual Disabilities.
Founders, Mark and Stephanie Cartier thought of the idea in April of 2017 when they were concerned with what their 19-year-old daughter with down syndrome was going to do when she aged out of school.
“We had two years to figure something out,” the Cartiers said.
Weeks later, they saw Lester Holt did a story on NBC Nightly News about a restaurant in McKinney, Texas, called “Hugs Cafe.” Last July, the Cartier’s took a trip to Hugs Cafe to train at the restaurant and to see how the business worked.
There will be two different phases for No Limits. Phase one is a lunch cafe, with a goal to hire 20 to 25 people with intellectual disabilities. They will start by being paid minimum wage. Phase two will be a training academy for disabled adults who don’t work there. They will learn how to prep, serve, clean up, etc.
The overall goal is to get every restaurant in the Middletown, Red Bank area to hire someone who they trained.
Finding the right place was hard, but taking over Rigoletto’s provided them with a big enough kitchen. The architect is currently working on the building and plans include making the kitchen space physically accessible for all.
“We hired a chef who is analyzing the latest food trends and what will work,” said Stephanie Cartier.
No Limits Cafe is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and is in the process of raising money for construction. Please visit their website at https://nolimitscafe.org