Store Supports Job Opportunities for Young Adults Who Have Special Needs
WADING RIVER, NEW YORK — be(Cause) Lifestyle Boutique, a store that supports job opportunities for young adults with developmental disabilities, has announced that it has moved its store from East Northport to Wading River. The new address is 6278 Route 25A, Building A, #2.
The boutique features a vast array of stylish clothing, jewelry from local artisans, soaps and assorted home goods, including the Nest line of fragrance candles. In addition to selling clothing, be(Cause) Lifestyle Boutique also serves coffee, baked goods and gift baskets filled with hand-crafted food items. In celebration of the new store, shoppers will receive 25% off all purchases this month as part of its grand opening and holiday sale through December 31.
The idea for the store came to its owner, Stacey Wohl, who decided to revisit her roots in the fashion industry. She worked in the garment industry as a showroom salesperson, fit model and designer after graduating college. In 2012, she began a wholesale coffee business, Our Coffee with a Cause, in which she trained her two children, Brittney and Logan — both of whom have special needs — and other special-needs individuals in various aspects of the business.
In 2016, she opened Cause Café in Northport, a full-service restaurant serving breakfast and lunch, with half of its employees comprised of those with developmental disabilities. “I opened Cause Café to employ my children and others with autism and train them in different aspects of the business,” Ms. Wohl said. “My idea was to make it a franchise and open more locations across the country.”
However, those plans never came to fruition. While vacationing on a cruise ship with her parents and her daughter, her father suffered a heart attack and died. Ms. Wohl returned home and needed to deal with the affairs regarding her mother’s house and the estate, leaving her no time to operate the restaurant. “I closed down Cause Café to retool my idea of employing special-needs young adults, but make it easier for them,” Ms. Wohl said.
In 2018, Ms. Wohl opened be(Cause) Lifestyle Boutique, a clothing store featuring a coffee bar. “I came up with this concept because of my background in the garment center and there was space to open a mini-Cause Café,” she said.
But, three weeks after Ms. Wohl opened the store, her mother committed suicide. She continued to operate the business while taking care of her late parents’ estate, including selling their house, and having to deal with the loss of her mother.
In late 2019, Ms. Wohl relocated be(Cause) to Wading River, with the intention of keeping the Cause Café concept in the store. The new location will allow Ms. Wohl to be closer to Brittney, who was recently accepted to a day program in Aquebogue; meanwhile, Logan will work at the store when he finishes the school year at a boarding school for autistic children in upstate New York. “When I found this location, I wanted to combine the two concepts of a store and a coffee bar like I did at East Northport,” she said. “At be(Cause)’s new location, it will continue to be supported by volunteers with special needs. My intention is to offer volunteer opportunities to more young adults with special needs at the store, where they can learn real-life work skills in the retail industry.”
For more information, call (631) 266-2025 or visit www.Facebook.com/BeCauseLifestyleBoutique.