A crowd gathered in front of Nour Coffee Shop ready to cut a ribbon. There are balloons on either side.

Nour Coffee Shop Grand Opening On World Down Syndrome Day

Nour Coffee Shop in Camp Hill, PA celebrated its grand opening on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 to mark World Down Syndrome Day. Nour was created with competitive integrated employment in mind, meaning workers of all ability levels work together. “We want people of all abilities working side by side in the same positions getting equal pay,” says Kait Gillis, co-founder of Nour.

A baby girl smiles up at the camera. She's wearing orange pants and has her hair in small pigtails.
Nour, the coffee shop’s namesake.

Nour was established by Gillis, who served as the PA Department of Human Services (DHS) Press Secretary from 2013 to 2017, and her husband Mena Hanna. The coffee shop is named after the couple’s 20-month-old daughter who was born with Down Syndrome. Gillis says her time serving DHS inspired the creation of the coffee shop, “I would be witness to a lot of the challenges people with disabilities had gaining meaningful employment and a trajectory of a career path”. Nour, which translates to “light” in arabic, is where “everyone’s light shines brighter” according to their slogan.

Tuesday’s grand opening featured a ribbon cutting ceremony with speeches from Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President & CEO Luke Bernstein, DHS Secretary Valerie Arkoosh, and Pennsylvania Representative Sharyl Delozier. Bernstein touted the shop’s creation as a meeting of private sector investment in public sector initiatives, including integrated employment and workforce development. Secretary Arkoosh joked that the event was “like a DHS family reunion,” and emphasized the importance of creating work opportunities for people of all ability levels stating, “the dignity of competitive, community-based employment is something that every single one of us wants for ourselves, for our kids, and for our family members.” Representative Delozier congratulated Gillis and Hanna on putting their “heart and soul” into establishing the small business.

Nour is now open at 101 N. Saint Johns Church Road in Camp Hill.