Long Island mom’s fights to make sure her cafe-with-a-cause succeeds

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She is a mom with a mission to make sure her café that supports her cause stays a success.

"I am a mom of two children with autism. Brittany is now 20, Logan is 18. They’re both considered non-verbal. Both kids were diagnosed within 2 years of each other and I was just devastated," Stacey Wohl said.

As her kids grew older, she realized she needed to give them a life with purpose and to get them involved in their community.

So she took matters into her own hands, opening a restaurant called Cause Café that employs young adults with disabilities, much like her two children.

"I opened the restaurant with a French theme. My reason for this was silly. I always wanted to go to France but I didn’t because I had my kids, so I figured I’d bring France here," Wohl said.

"I quickly realized being open for breakfast and lunch was not going to be profitable enough to hire enough people with autism as I wanted."

Ten months in, Cause Café was still waiting for its liquor license and wasn’t doing enough business on breakfast and lunch alone, so Wohl closed the doors – but did not give up her fight.

"The goal has always been make this restaurant success hopefully by the support of our community and open more restaurants so more people with kids like mine will be able to have employment for their kids," she said.

She waited patiently for that liquor license, collaborated with a new chef on a Caribbean-style menu and re-opened this fall.

William and Jonathan – two of her long-time employees – were happy to return.

"It’s the third times the charm! It always works!" William said.

"I was very spectacularly excited that she reopened Cause Café," Jonathan said.

Wohl said Cause Café doesn’t just serve up a good meal. It reminds each person who walks in the door to be a bit more compassionate to others.

"I think coming to a place like this, you're helping a great cause and you're giving an opportunity for a child, a young adult that may not have had the opportunity," Wohl said.

"The kids that come in here are able to do it. My daughter has been trained to come in here and do this and she wants to do this – she communicates with her iPad, she gives out her business card, she hugs people."

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