NORTH SMITHFIELD – Customers of The Budding Violet craft store and Red, White and Brew coffee shop on Great Road will find a welcoming space for visitors of all abilities.
The store, scheduled to open this weekend, carries crafts, furniture and other handmade items from local vendors and offers classes under the name The Budding Violet. On the other side of a partition, customers can pick up a coffee and get comfortable at one of several wooden tables at Red, White and Brew. The shop uses Ben’s Beans coffee from Putnam, Conn.
The business was inspired by owner Sheila Coyne’s family experiences with autism. Her son, Michael, has autism, and at 23, was looking for a place to work. When he had trouble finding employment at other local businesses, the family decided to take matters into their own hands.
“I said, well, if you can’t find a job and your friends can’t find a job, we’re going to make our own road,” she said...