Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn will officially launch Artistas Mobile Cafe with a ribbon cutting at the Mayor’s Food Truck Rally at Gaslight Park in downtown Tampa at noon Wednesday, September 5. Artistas Mobile Café serves artfully-crafted beverages and healthy snacks and is a first of its kind food truck in that its frontline employees are young adults with Autism.
“Artistas Mobile Café is a great addition to our efforts to make Tampa the first Autism-Friendly City,” said Mayor Buckhorn. “This new venture is a wonderful example of a cause-related business model that is good for our community and a great way to enable inclusion and employment for our citizens with Autism. They are a welcome addition to our monthly Mayor’s Food Truck Rally and I encourage area businesses and community groups to book Artistas Mobile Café and to join in supporting their other employment programs for individuals with Autism.”
Affectionately called “The Bean Mobile,” the food truck was inspired by the success of the original Artistas Café that began as a partnership with Mercedes-Benz of Tampa. Vicky Westra, Chairman of Artistas Cafe, started the program because she believes people with Autism have “Uniqabilities” (Unique talents and interests) and when given the tools, training, and the right environment, they make exceptional employees. The employees at the Café are a shining example of this as they have progressed through the training programs to help developed their passions and find employment.
“We’re excited to hit the road and connect with more people and businesses in the community and spread understanding and acceptance of Autism” says Westra. ”We invite all area organizations, book The Bean Mobile, become a sponsor or give us a call to find out more about our Autism education programs.
To book The Bean Mobile or become a sponsor go to ArtistasCafe.com/Book or call 813.251.2787.
Artistas Café is an employment partner of Autism Shifts. Proceeds benefit this local 501(c)3 foundation whose mission is to shift the outcome for those touched by Autism by enabling employment, independent living and community integration. Today, one in 59 children are diagnosed with autism, 50,000 young people with Autism are turning 18 each year and roughly 90% will be unemployed. Autism Shifts invites individuals with Autism, their parents/caregivers, businesses interested in becoming Autism Employment-Ready and the broader community to Join the Shift and change the outcome for Autism by going to www.autismshifts.org.