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Charlie Foster's now open at Stovehouse in Huntsville

The owners' love for coffee and passion for serving people with special needs inspired them to bring an inclusive workplace to Huntsville.

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — A new coffee shop is now open at Stovehouse in Huntsville.

Charlie Foster's opened their doors on Friday serving coffee, tea, and food.

Despite the pandemic, the owners, Austin and Hollie Jenkins, say they have seen a lot of support during their soft opening.

They say the most popular item sold so far is the mocha.

The owners' love for coffee and passion for serving people with special needs inspired them to bring an inclusive workplace to Huntsville.

RELATED: Local coffee shop to employ people with special needs

"We wanted to open a coffee shop, and we wanted it to be a little bit different and employ people with special needs and bring opportunities for them," said Hollie.

Employee, Laura Matus, said, "I love working at Charlee Foster's. It's a great opportunity to help out kids with special needs."

The idea for an inclusive workplace stems from Austin's family. His parents are the founders of Merrimack Hall. The performing arts center is a nonprofit in Huntsville that provides visual and performing arts education to kids and adults with special needs.

According to Charlie Foster's website, Merrimack Hall was once the center of social life in what was known as Merrimack Mill Village. It was renovated in 2007 and became what is now the performing arts center.

RELATED: Special needs program struggles during pandemic: How you can help Merrimack Hall

The coffee shop's name comes from the theater's ghost, Charlie Foster, one of many children who worked in Merrimack Mills. 

Charlie Foster's will be open from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm for their soft opening. Their grand opening is Saturday, January 30.

To view the Charlie Foster's menu, click here.

To keep up with the coffee shop on Facebook, click here.

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