WICHITA — About a dozen years ago, three Maize-area mothers with special needs kids started getting together to “laugh about and cry about” their problems, says Joanna Kilgore – one of those moms.
She says they got “used to having awesome support and awesome jobs” for their kids through the Maize school district.
Now that their children are grown, though, they’re having a harder time finding work. So the moms, Scarlett Tully and Pat Leon, along with a fourth friend, Kate Scheer, are opening a coffeehouse as a place for their kids to work.
“We started off thinking we were just going to have a simple coffee shop,” Kilgore says.
The concept has grown to include a bakery and an art gallery at the northwest corner of Park and Central in Maize.
LewJene Schneider of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.
Each mother is bringing a different talent to the business, which they’re calling MOXI Junction. MOXI stands for Mothers of Exceptional Individuals.
“It was a coming together of ideas and hopes and dreams, so that’s how we got ‘Junction,’” Kilgore says.
She’s the barista specialist. Leon is the baker.
“It’s like down-home baking,” Kilgore says. She says she “cannot even talk her into using a mixer.”
Tully and Scheer are in charge of the art gallery, which will include photographs, pottery and handmade cards among other things.
The business is under construction now. Kilgore says she hopes to create a homey atmosphere. It will be ready sometime next spring or summer, although Kilgore says she would have preferred for it to open, “ah, two years ago.”
She says the mothers hope MOXI can work with the school district to help other special needs kids with work.
“We’re tyring to really encompass the entire community.”