A new Leitrim café "with a twist" has opened

Social Inclusion

A new Leitrim café "with a twist" has opened

Our Happy Place Cafe, Carrick-on-Shannon

A new cafe opened up in Carrick-on-Shannon this weekend - nothing new or newsworthy you might say!

But the owner of 'Our Happy Place' calls it “a café with a twist” and it’s due to add something extra to the community of the North West this festive season and beyond.  The café known as Our Happy Place is the brainchild of Katelyn Quinn which is open to hiring people with learning difficulties but is also about promoting social inclusion.

“I have a learning disorder known as ADD so sitting still and paying attention would be harder for me than it would be for many others. I decided then to give the opportunity to people with autism, down syndrome or with other learning difficulties to have a place to work and to enjoy,” explained owner Ms Quinn.

Having trained as a chef, the American native said she always wanted to set up her own café but do something a bit different. Ms Quinn also sees the café as an opportunity to challenge some of the stereotypes out there about people with learning difficulties: “There is a vibe out there that people with learning difficulties are not able to do a lot of things like other people can but that’s not necessarily the case, they can grasp it but it’s just in a different way.“

In terms of tastes, people can expect all the staples from teas, coffees and the sweetest of treats but the café is passionate about good healthy food, from salads to soups and everything in between with vegan options as well as catering for special dietary requirements.

The soft launch took place earlier this month and was a roaring success giving great momentum for the official opening of Our Happy Place.  “I want people to know about the importance of the name. It can be hard to find the place where I feel good all the time, I want to walk out of the café every day and feel really good. When I see people with a disability out and working, I see the smile on their face and it’s not fake, its genuine and I want everyone to feel that same sense after visiting Our Happy Place.” says Ms Quinn.

Our Happy Place is located at Unit 5, Mercantile Plaza, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim. (Opposite The Landmark Hotel)

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