Self-Advocate Businesses

Trey Evans smiling standing with his business, a food stand

Trey Evans

My name is Trey. I graduated high school in May 2022 from Powell High school. This summer I started my own business., Trey’s Snack Shack. It’s a mobile concessions trailer. I sell snacks, candy and drinks. I am able to help my former school by donating a portion of my profits to their Special Olympics program and their Powell Peps program. I have so many people who have seen me in the community or on social media who have brought me donations of snacks and drinks to sell. I’ve also had an officer from the Sheriffs office visit with his K-9, and our Knox county Mayor, Glenn Jacobs (AKA Kane, WWE wrestler) visit.. I feel proud to own my own business and help my community.

man with down syndrome smiling in a Hawaiian shirt

Nate Simon

Nate is 19, and is the CEO of his own Hawaiian shirt company. 21 Pineapples! Nate has been on the radio, tv and has over a hundred gold medals from the Special Olympics. After starting 21 pineapples, he hit one million in sales in merely 6 months. He is also known as the king of TikTok with over 600k followers. Nate was the lead model in this year‘s LA fashion week. He has modeled for companies such as Culver’s. Nate will be featured in a music video that will launch on October 1 for a very inspiring country artist. Nate's success is only beginning, but he loves to share his love throughout the world.

Customer Service & Public Speaker

Matthew Schwab

I'm a 24-year-old North Carolina native. I recently realized a lifelong dream and moved into an apartment with my younger brother in Apex, NC.

I graduated from High School in June 2017 with an Occupational Course of Study diploma. I completed Project Search, an internship-based educational program at Wake Technical Community College.

I currently work at Ruckus Pizza, Pasta & Spirits and 321 Coffee. I’ve worked at Chick-Fil-A, Fuquay Revolution Volleyball, and at a local movie theater. I also worked in the NC Legislature for State Representative John Bradford.

I also believe that serving my community is important, so I’ve been a community volunteer for several years.

I am passionate about raising awareness of Down syndrome, as well as all other intellectual and developmental disabilities. I love to speak to groups large and small, about a variety of topics and the impact on those of us with IDD.

Most notably, in December 2019, I gave a TEDx talk! And recently, I was interviewed by Anthony Padilla for his I Spent the Day With… series on YouTube.

I am a dynamic and passionate speaker, and I would love the opportunity to speak to your group too! Please check out my website for more information…

PAWsitivelyByLily (profile img)


Lily and her family started PAWsitivelyByLily while she was in her high school fashion and design inclusion class. She has fun making and selling dog bandanas and tug toys as well as earrings. Lily is a hard worker and takes pride in what she creates, come check out her amazing products!

Gabi's Grounds (profile img)

Gabi's Grounds

Gabi's Grounds is an advocate for the value, inclusion, and acceptance of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We promote equal access to persons with disabilities in our workplace. We create market value that includes everyone in an enriched community while providing great coffee and a unique customer service experience.

Cameron's Coffee & Chocolates (profile img)

Cameron's Coffee & Chocolates

Guilt-free chocolate was once just a dream for lovers of sweetness everywhere, but with Cameron's Chocolates it is here! Our remarkable chocolates are made with love and devotion by a wonderful group of young adults and volunteers. Cameron's Coffee and Chocolates offers an early morning array of coffee drinks, tea and freshly baked pastries made and baked in our own kitchen.

4 Coffee and Grace (profile img)

4 Coffee and Grace

Through Dreamers Merchant Coffee, Grace will have the opportunity to learn independence, self confidence, and to empower herself to be included in society. 4 Coffee and Grace features three Organic, Rain Forest Certified, Fair Trade Dreamers blends which are available both group or whole bean. Visit our website for our coffees, teas and other amazing products!

Texas Sweet Heat Jam Co. (profile img)

Texas Sweet Heat Jam Co.

Nolan is the creator of Texas Sweet Heat Jam Co. a hot market innovation comprised of his own homegrown peppers and a twist of fine-tuned culinary expertise. His hot pepper jelly is a result of years of practice and parental attention paid to his talent and special interest in gardening and cooking. Our jams are made from natural, local ingredients. No preservatives, no added chemicals or colors – just pure real food.

Dreamers Merchants Coffee Company (profile img)

Dreamers Merchants Coffee Company

Dreamers Merchants Coffee Company began when Diane Grover learned of the low rate of employment of individuals with a disability. In hopes of creating a job for her daughter, Mary Ellen, Diane started a coffee company. Today Dreamers can be found in many states and growing. Every purchase allows us to hire individuals of all abilities in an inclusive environment. Try all three of our Specialty Grade Dreamers Blend Coffees!

Sweet Jordan's LLC (profile img)

Sweet Jordan's LLC

Sweet Jordan's is a Bakery, Homemade Ice Cream and Coffee Shop that employs 28 other individuals like Jordan. We make homemade ice cream, and baked goodies from recipes passed down from many generations.

Spencer's Place (profile img)

Spencer's Place

Spencer's Place is an Inclusive coffee shop designed to employ Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). Spencer's Place creates jobs that align with each individual's ability. We provide opportunities to earn a paycheck, build relationships, gain a sense of purpose and show the community the beauty of diversity and inclusion.

Kristina's Grinds and Grace (profile img)

Kristina's Grinds and Grace

Kristina's Grind and Grace offers coffee, pastries, and a moment of respite from a hectic day. Serving coffee and confections, with a side of grace, by truly exceptional staff. The next time you need to add some caffeine and a heavy dose of sweetness to your afternoon, stop by and see Kristina in full bloom.