Local entrepreneur, Carly Bishop, 23, has been running her own successful business called Carly’s Coffee Couriers since 2017. Though she does live with an intellectual disability, she has never let that stop her, working five days a week delivering coffee and smiles to the staff and retail workers at Stockland Shellharbour.
Leonie Bishop, Carly’s mother, said: “The business idea came about after a road trip with a friend, where we were referred to the Ignite Ability Program who gives advice and support to people with disabilities to start their own business.
“Stockland’s response from centre management to our request was not only a ‘yes you can operate’, but also ‘how can we help you’.
“They have given permission for Carly to hand out flyers and have even advertised it in their retailer newsletter, encouraging support for her business.
“Customers have been really positive and friendly. It’s Carly’s favourite part of the business, meeting up with people, and she has developed lovely relationships with regular customers and vendors.
“I’ve seen Carly really grow in confidence and skills since running this business.”
Carly’s Coffee Courier started in November 2017 as a trial three days per week, and since April 2018, has increased to five days per week, and become a permanent offering at the centre.
The mother-daughter team is hoping to expand and open another service in Wollongong to help more young people with disabilities to receive the same benefits that Carly has experienced.
Daniel Buchanan, Centre Manager at Stockland Shellharbour, said: “Stockland Shellharbour is always looking for new ways to support the many local people, organisations and groups who make such important contributions to our community.
“The work that Carly does at the centre is really valued by the team and all of the retailers here, and we are pleased to be able to help her succeed in any way that we can.”