RED BANK, New Jersey — Whether it’s the grilled cheese or a midday dance party, there’s always something special happening at No Limits Cafe in Red Bank.
The eatery along Route 35 is a standout not just for its comfort food, but it’s endearing mission to employ adults with intellectual disabilities.
From Tommy on the grill to Allie prepping takeout orders, everyone contributes in the front and back of the house.
Each employee earns minimum wage. For most of them, it's their first paying job.
Foot traffic at the cafe, unfortunately, has plummeted since they first opened in February.
The business, like many, was temporarily upended by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It’s a really tough time, the pandemic, for everybody," Stephanie Cartier, the cafe's owner explained. "And a lot of times, people with intellectual disabilities, it’s even more difficult for because there’s not a lot for them to do."
One of the many obstacles Cartier and her team had to overcome was retraining the staff after an impromptu three-month closure, but they’ve proven to be resilient.
"We’ve learned so much in such a short time, like online menus and delivery and things we never thought we were going to have to learn about," she said. "I think we are prepared for anything now."
The cafe even reworked its menu, creating a “build your own grilled cheese” section.
Their goal right now is to remind the community that while their mission is full of heart, their menu is just as hearty.
Plus, they're making a plea to potential customers from surrounding areas to stop in and grab a bite, which includes Gov. Phil Murphy, who lives nearby.
No Limits Cafe is located at: 418 NJ-35, Red Bank, NJ 07701
To order online, visit their website https://www.nolimitscafe.org/
Or call them at 732-268-7471
Orders for large parties and office lunches, are welcomed.