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Bitty & Beau's Coffee Show Builds On Brand, Purpose

By Audrey Elsberry, posted Apr 19, 2024
The Bitty & Beau's Coffee Show is directed by and stars the Wright family, (left to right) Emma Grace, Bitty, Amy, Beau and Ben Wright. (Photo courtesy of Bitty & Beau's Coffee)
Wilmington-based Bitty & Beau’s Coffee expanded its brand with a weekly talk show on YouTube, aptly named The Bitty & Beau’s Coffee Show, that launched at the end of March.

The show is an exploration of the Bitty & Beau’s brand ethos, “a human rights movement disguised as a coffee shop.” Founders Amy and Ben Wright, accompanied by their children Bitty Wright, 14, and Beau Wright, 19, explain what drove them to build their coffee business and introduce the world to the people who inspired it.

Both Bitty and Beau Wright have Down syndrome. Their parents, Amy and Ben Wright, wanted to create a place where people with disabilities could find employment and guests could interact with them. The coffee shop opened its first location on the corner of Wrightsville Avenue and South Kerr Avenue in 2016. It has since expanded across the country with 19 locations from Colorado to the Carolinas employing more than 400 people with disabilities.

Emma Grace Wright has been there since the very beginning. She is the second child of Amy and Ben Wright and was a sophomore in high school when the first shop opened. Now 24, she serves as the creative director of Bitty & Beau’s Coffee.

The YouTube show’s operations — lights, cameras, microphones — are all managed by Emma Grace Wright. The show takes place in a nondescript studio on Racine Drive, just down the street from their flagship coffee shop on New Center Drive. The first show uploaded to YouTube March 21. There are now five episodes published on The Bitty & Beau’s Coffee Show YouTube channel, which just surpassed 1,000 subscribers.

“I bet, Beau and Bitty, that there are tons and tons of people watching this right now that have never met people with Down syndrome like you,” Amy Wright said in the first episode. “And maybe they’ve never been to a Bitty & Beau’s Coffee shop, and by watching this, they’ll get to go and see one of your coffee shops and see how awesome it is.”

Emma Grace Wright acts as their fact checker, correcting her parents in the first episode on the date of the first shop’s ribbon cutting on January 25, 2016. She’s also the arm jutting in and out of screen handing the hosts Bitty & Beau’s drinks for their taste tests.

The idea for a YouTube show spawned from a family getaway, void of phones, to clear their minds while they navigate their growing business. The Wrights have been approached several times by “multiple production companies that would pitch to national networks” about a television show following their family, Emma Grace Wright said. But a reality show did not feel right. Emma Grace Wright’s degree in filmmaking from New York University Tisch School of the Arts made her the perfect director for a show the Wrights could make on their terms.

Emma Grace Wright has always had a knack for videography, she said, since making short films about her brother, Beau Wright, growing up. Those with disabilities have always been at the center of her films, and her newest project is no different.

The show seeks to introduce Bitty and Beau Wright to a broader audience outside of a brand name. Some Bitty & Beau's customers don’t realize the names belong to real people and others have thought they are the names of the family dogs.

“We thought, ‘Why not show Bitty and Beau to the world?’” Emma Grace Wright said. “Beau loves YouTube, and Bitty loves the camera.”

Now, the weekly premiers are streamed in all the Bitty & Beau’s Coffee shops, she said. Viewers can expect employee and customer interviews, more taste tests and the opportunity to see a glimpse of the Wright family dynamic.  All with Emma Grace Wright behind the camera, and Bitty and Beau Wright in front of it.
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