Independence woman with disability owns successful coffee shop

Emilea Hillman  is known throughout Independence for being the fun, friendly owner of this successful coffee shop. read more
Independence coffee shop owner meets with Obama
To show her appreciation for him signing legistration calling for increased collaboration between vocational rehabilitation programs and high schools, Emilea Hillman invited President Barack Obama to coffee at her coffee house. read more
Hillman Meets Obama
“Today is a victory for workers and businesses in Iowa and around the country. With the President’s signature of the bipartisan Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act today, workers in the U.S., including those with disabilities, will have access to the training, education, and employment services they need to compete in the 21st century economy,” Harkin said. “This bill will pay dividends for years to come as these programs give more Americans the skills they need to secure good jobs and build a stronger future for themselves and their families.” read more
A Very Special Barista
I had the pleasure of meeting Em about a month ago, after she was referred to us by Kevin Kapaun of Specialty Java, a local Minnesota roaster. Em came to Espresso Partners’ Minnesota training facility, accompanied by her job coach Jerri Reisner, and her mother Tami. This would be their first barista training, and would unknowingly end as one of my most rewarding. read more
The Em and Jerri Story: From Creativity to Coffee
The "Em" of Em and Jerri's is Emilea Hillman, a vivacious 21-year-old entrepreneur who happens to have a disability. The "Jerri" is Jerri Reisner, Em's job coach and the coffee shop's manager. read more
Emilea: Finding the Resources to Start a Coffee Shop
Em and Jerri's Coffee Company had its grand opening in December of 2009. The coffee shop is open Monday through Saturday, and Emilea works there 40 hours a week. She arrives early each weekday morning to begin making coffee, clean off the chalkboard for the day's menu, and open the shop to customers at 6:30 a.m. read more
Window Watching
July 2011 - Emilea Hillman keeps a close eye on the crew working on updating the natural gas line and meter in front of her coffee shop Monday morning. Read more
Concocting colorful cupcakes
April 2011 - INDEPENDENCE – Bakers of all ages and sizes entered Em and Jerri’s Cupcake Contest on Saturday. Read more
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Em's Coffee Company 324 First Street East Independence IA 50644 (319) 332-1234


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