Big Read

A different kind of thinking: the Dublin café that employs neurodiverse staff

Loaf Café in Kilmainham is the first outlet outside of Northern Ireland for the Now Group, a social enterprise that facilitates employment for people with intellectual disabilities, autism and neurodiverse conditions

Callum Mclean and Kieran Dowling in the Loaf Café in Kilmainham. Picture: Maura Hickey

On a blustery Friday morning, the colourful all-caps signage of Loaf Café shines brightly through its glass storefront in Kilmainham, Dublin. Inside, servers dash back and forth making coffees, plating up sandwiches and taking orders. On the wall behind the till, a selection of beautiful ceramic mugs is displayed for sale. Lower down, on the counter a cardboard sign advertises the Jam Card – an innovation that allows people with learning difficulties and communication barriers ...