YouTube: December 8, 2015
The Arc of San Diego
We were able to put a coffee cart out by the DMV, where they have a line of people who are just waiting to be served…
It has just been incredible — more than I could have imagined!
Posted: Nov 20, 2015 5:12 PM MST
Updated: Nov 20, 2015 9:51 PM MST
Breaking Away Award of Excellence: Mike Pasulka
By Sarah Roberts
This week’s Break Away Award of Excellence honoree is Mike Pasulka, owner multiple San Diego restaurant/bars, including the new Players Sports Bar in Poway and Our Place Coffee on its patio. This isn’t your typical sports bar, though, Players has partnered up with the Arc of San Diego, a non-profit organization which “supports and empowers persons with disabilities to achieve their life goals.” Together they’ve provided jobs to 6 young adults with disabilities to learn the social, money and soft skills needed to run a restaurant.
Mike has been a donor to the Arc and an attendee of their annual golf tournament for years. When he learned about the opportunity to become even more involved as business owner, he wanted to get on board. This innovative enterprise provides employment opportunities for individuals who are too often overlooked or undervalued by job recruiters and hiring managers.
Mike says, “It’s important for everyone to have the sense of purpose when they wake up and go to a job in the morning. I like being able to provide that and be a part of their development. They’re happy to do things at work that most of us complain about or take for granted.”
Individuals with developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome and Autism work at Our Place Coffee. Regardless of their level of ability, employees are learning to maintain a food service area, complete point-of-sale transactions, serve coffee and other foods, and provide customer service.“Our Place Coffee is a tremendous place of opportunity for adults with developmental disabilities to be vibrant, contributing members of the community in which they live,” said David W. Schneider, President & CEO, The Arc of San Diego. “The pride that comes from going to work and earning a paycheck empowers these remarkable individuals to lead more independent and fulfilling lives.”
Linda Kurtin, Mike’s nominator, and mother of Our Place employee, Bernie, tells us how much of a blessing Mike and the ARC have been for her daughter. “Once our children graduate from the public school system at 22 years old, there’s limited opportunities for them to continue being contributing members of society, that’s where the ARC and this job come in and make a difference for Bernie.”
Michael Mather, the Marketing and Community Outreach Manager of the ARC, told us the name Our Place Coffee originated from the ARC’s yoga and wellness center directed by Dr. Paul Kurtin and his volunteers. There are so many ways to get involved, and it’s so inspiring that The Arc has built all of these branches in order to do so, no matter what your passion is.
“We are proud to partner with The Arc,” said Mike Pasulka, owner of Players Sports Bar. “It is important that all members of our community of all ability levels have the opportunity to work.” He ends by challenging other business owners, “our business is tough, but the rewards you receive from helping others are definitely worthwhile.”
Our Place Coffee is located at in a convenient shopping center at 13437 Community Road in Poway and is open Monday through Friday from 7am to 11am. You can go enjoy coffee or breakfast before your DMV appointment or your trip to Walmart to support these amazing, growing individuals. To donate or learn about other event s or how you can hire an adult with disabilities, visit http://www.arc-sd.com/home.
Disabled adults brewing self-esteem
Poway bar turns coffee cart business over to group providing jobs for adults with disabilities
By Pam Kragen | 6 a.m. Oct. 4, 2015
POWAY — In July, Max Morpeth had a hard time looking anyone in the eye or carrying on a conversation with customers and employees at the newly opened coffee cart next to Players Sports Bar in Poway.
But two months into his five-day-a-week job as head brewer and cashier, the 22-year-old developmentally disabled man talks proudly, if haltingly, about the tasks he most enjoys and the friends he has made. Morpeth is one of six young adults with disabilities who staff the outdoor cart, which sits between the bar and the Poway office of the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Launched this summer by Players Sports Bar owner Michael Pasulka and now run by the disabled services group The Arc of San Diego, it’s one of several local businesses providing job training and socialization skills to young adults who have aged out of the federal and state safety net programs. Pasulka, a past donor and volunteer for Arc, said he realizes the modest kiosk may never turn a profit, but the psychic pay he earns is more than worth the expense.
“I don’t look at it from the perspective of a businessman, but as a human being,” Pasulka said. “I love seeing their increasingly outgoing personalities and the development of their skills in such a short amount of time. Two months ago, Max wouldn’t even talk to me and today he steps up, greets me and shakes my hand. I think that’s amazing progress.”
Taking orders and passing out menus on Friday morning under the supervision of several Arc job coaches was Alex Brinneman, 22. The Rancho Peñasquitos resident said she loves working at her first job and enjoys using her tip money to go bowling. Her mother, Claudia, said the job has made a tremendous difference in Alex’s life.
“It’s given her a purpose and self-esteem and it has made her feel valued and just like everyone else,” Claudia said.
The nonprofit Arc was started in 1951 by a group of local parents and community members concerned about the lack of opportunities and educational options for the disabled. Today, the organization serves 2,500 children and adults with disabilities in San Diego County. Although it provides services to families with disabled infants as well as the elderly, more than half of its budget is devoted to career services, said Jennifer Bates Navarra, Arc’s vice president of marketing and development.
Countywide, more than 800 disabled adults are working at companies that have partnered with Arc. The largest number, 250, are preparing and serving 15,000 meals a day to new recruits at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. The companies donate time, materials and supervision and the workers’ salaries — based upon their abilities but usually half of minimum wage — are paid through state and other funding. Laura Orcutt, area director for Arc in North County, said the organization is always looking for partner businesses that are willing to hire disabled adults.
The coffee cart business was dreamed up last spring after Pasulka opened the Poway restaurant and noticed a huge line of people queuing up weekday mornings outside the DMV. He shared his observation with longtime family friend Jon Kurtin of Santa Luz. The retired attorney has a 22-year-old disabled daughter, Berni, who also recently aged out and had no career prospects. Together, they developed the side business which would employ young adults like Berni. It opened at the end of July and Berni said she has most enjoyed the responsibility of refilling the salt and pepper shakers and ketchup bottles.
“What’s best about this is every morning she wakes up and has somewhere to go,” said Kurtin, who chairs Arc’s annual charity golf tournament. “They all just want what their siblings want, to maybe take a community college art class, go to work for a few hours a day and feel a sense of dignity in their own lives.”
The first shift of cart workers, three young men, arrive at 6:30 a.m. Monday through Friday to set things up, brew the coffee and transfer it into thermal dispensers. At 7 a.m., customers can begin ordering regular coffees, Nespresso lattes, soft drinks, bottled water, muffins, breakfast bars, chips and hot items. At 9 a.m., the second shift of three women arrive. The shop closes at 11 a.m., after which the workers clean up and take turns counting the money in the cash drawer and tip jar. Their work is overseen by Arc job coaches, who on Friday where helping the employees take orders, steam milk and count out change.
Business has been slower than expected at the coffee cart because the kiosk is hidden between two buildings and DMV customers haven’t come over to order as much as expected. But Pasulka said as word spreads in the community about the kiosk, local residents are beginning to add a visit to their morning routine. Pasulka said he’s also been extremely pleased to promote one of the cart workers.
Carls Rieta, 20, of Poway, has been such a productive and dedicated worker that Pasulka recently hired him to help out with dishwashing and food prep in the kitchen on Sunday afternoons. Rieta said working at his first job has been a great experience.
“I love working with the customers, making them happy and helping my team,” he said. “If I could, I would like to work full time someday.”
Best Sports Bar: First Place 2010
Best Sports Bar: First Place 2009
Bostonians never need travel far in any city to celebrate or commiserate with like-minded fans. Players offers up yet one more New England-centric haven, but this Kearny Mesa bar and restaurant is accommodating even to sports fans who pronounce their Rs. The cavernous interior features no fewer than seven billiards tables, 70 TVs including a host of big screens, infinite satellite coverage, the requisite pennants and collectibles on display, and tasty options for lunch and dinner.
Read the article: Players scores big with San Diego sports fans
by Doug Wagner | for SignOnSanDiego.com
San Marcos: Players Sports Bar
328 South Twin Oaks Valley Road
The original Players in Kearny Mesa (arguably the best place in San Diego to catch a Boston sports event) has some company for folks who live north of it. And: Go Sox!
Read the article: No Padres home opener on TV? No problem.
by Matthew T. Hall | for U-T San Diego
Players Sports Bar in Kearny Mesa is a hard core sports fanatic’s paradise: 600 square feet of screens and 50 satellites with sports everywhere you turn. Not only pro sports, though – Players is a big gathering spot for alumni following their college teams. Players is the official meeting place for the University of Illinois, Iowa, University of North Carolina, Cal, University of Texas, Missouri, Florida Gators, Iowa State, Alabama, Georgia Tech and LSU.
Read the article: Top 10 San Diego Sports Bars
by Inigo Figuracion | About.com Guide
A quiet sports joint this is not. Kearny Mesa’s Players is known for being a sports home-away-from-home for diehard college football fans from out of state. More than 600 square feet of screens, pool tables, some 20 beers on tap and moderate prices. Extra incentive to go: One of the 70 beers offered.
Read the article: Best Sports Bars
December 2009 | by Jillian Anthony | for San Diego Magazine
If college sports is your thing, then Players Sports Bar is your best bet to run into fellow fans.
Read the article: College Sports Bars
by Inigo Figuracion | About.com Guide