By Kevin Kelley
If reading makes you hungry, you’ll be glad to know the cafe at Westlake Porter Public Library has reopened.
Now known as Pulleys at Porter, the cafe opened Oct. 7 with a full menu of coffee, pastries, sandwiches and salads.
Pulleys is run by Solutions at Work, a nonprofit organization that trains and employs individuals with developmental disabilities in conjunction with the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities’ training programs. After seeking proposals from potential vendors, the library’s board of trustees this summer selected SAW to be the cafe operator.
SAW’s goal is to train employees through its programs, such as Pulleys, and ultimately find them jobs in the private sector, said Tyrone McCann, SAW’s regional employment manager. The period of time a SAW worker spends in a training program varies from four weeks to two years, he explained.
The name Pulleys at Porter comes from Pulleys Coffeehouse 36, a cafe that was operated by SAW and the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities until it closed in December.
Porter Director Andrew Mangels said library patrons have been telling him they are glad the library once again has a cafe.
Mangels said Pulleys has three ingredients necessary for success – a great space in which to operate, a friendly staff and good food.
Beth Armbruster, a job coach with SAW, said the response of library visitors has been good.
“Every day we have more people coming in,” she told West Life.
Armbruster is one of two job coaches who oversees four SAW workers.
One of those workers, Dollie Gue, said she especially likes to prepare and serve muffins and soup to customers.
Soup is a big seller at Pulleys, Armbruster added.
The back wall of Pulleys is filled with paintings created by persons with developmental disabilities and available for purchase.
A formal grand opening celebration for Pulleys will take place at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. Leaders of SAW and local public officials have been invited to attend, Mangels said.
Located near the library’s entrance, the room occupied by Pulleys had always been intended for use as a cafe since the library underwent an expansion and renovation from 1999 to 2002. Picc-A-Deli Cafe had leased the space and operated a cafe there from November 2004 until Feb. 1 of this year.