COCO Café wins national award

COCO Café in Cedar will be able to expand after winning a $25,000 Co-operators National Co-op Challenge prize.

A $25,000 prize from the Co-operators National Co-op Challenge will help COCO Café in Cedar expand.

The Cedar Opportunities Co-operative (COCO) operates the COCO Café, and its mission to create employment opportunities for developmentally disabled individuals through COCO Café.

Late last month, COCO won a prize of $25,000 to support the expansion of café business.

“This prize from the Co-operators National Co-op Challenge supports a redesign of the café layout to accommodate our growing catering business and purchase of a catering van,” Patricia Johnston, a founding member of the COCO board, said in a press release. “By expanding catering to compliment the café’s coffee shop business, we hope to create an additional 40 hours of employment a week for people with developmental disabilities.”

The Co-operators National Co-op Challenge awards annual prizes in four regions of Canada (Atlantic, Ontario, Quebec, West) to support the success of winning co-ops and encourage them to grow. This year, two $25,000 prizes were awarded to co-ops in each of the four regions.

The prizewinners were chosen through a month-long social media campaign.

CoCo Café was founded more than two years ago, and the café currently provides employment for 12 people with developmental disabilities.

“Café staff and volunteers have turned the Cedar coffee shop into a popular venue where friends meet,” states the press release.