Community Impact

CareSource Supports Em’s Coffee Co. in Iowa

March 25th, 2022 | 2 min read

Emilea Hillman Ems Coffee Co

Emilea Hillman always wanted to work in her community of Independence, Iowa, but living with an intellectual disability, meant she had few career options. After many conversations, the idea for a coffee shop was born. Now the owner of Em’s Coffee Co., Emilea is well-known in Iowa for starting her own business at age 21 with the support of family and friends, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Medicaid Enterprises and the Work Incentive Planning and Assistance program.

Recently, CareSource donated $10,000 to Em’s Coffee Co. to bring together community members from Independence, Iowa and surrounding Northeast Iowa communities. With this support, Em’s plans to host community evenings inviting elected representatives and political officials every other Monday from 4:00-6:00 p.m. over the next 10 months. During the community evenings Em’s Coffee Co. will provide local entertainment, light refreshments at no cost, with the option for purchase of addition items.

“CareSource knows the importance of promoting and encouraging competitive integrated employment for individuals living with significant disabilities,” said Solomon Parker, Director of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Program Strategy at CareSource. “We are proud to support Emilea, an innovator and young entrepreneur, with her goal to bring together residents from Independence and surrounding Northeast Iowa to enjoy coffee and entertainment while building a community inclusive of people with and without disabilities.”