It is a hip-looking cafe like any other in central Paris, thronged with lunchtime diners. Except that Joyeux has a little something extra – many of its cooks and waiters have one more chromosome.
The coffee shop is the latest in a chain of lunch joints springing up across France staffed by people with Down syndrome, autism and other cognitive disabilities.
“Joyeux” means joyous and owner Yann Bucaille Lanzerac said he plans to spread the joy to at least four more outlets across France giving disabled people the chance to show what they can do and earn a living.
Foodie and commis chef Charles has been dreaming for years about cooking in a real restaurant. . .
Waitress Mathilde, 20, who has Down syndrome, said the cafe has already helped her expand her skills as she helped with last-minute preparations for its grand opening on Wednesday, when French first lady Brigitte Macron dropped in for a quick bite. (Read more from “Cafe Chain Staffed by Workers With Down Syndrome” HERE)