Mom Starts Coffee Van Business for Daughter with Down Syndrome, Shattering Stereotypes

If you asked just about any parent what they want for their kids, they’d probably say happiness, fulfillment, and success. We all want our kids to do something they love, something they’re good at, and something that makes them feel valuable. But for parents whose children have special needs, achieving that goal is sometimes a whole different ballgame, as it can come with unique challenges that may stand in their way. Well one mom from Huonville, Tasmania decided she’d stop at nothing to ensure her daughter Bronwyn achieved success in life, regardless of any disabilities she has.

Bronwyn Shelverton (who goes by Bron) has Down syndrome, and although she’s got the work ethic necessary for success, her mom Sonya says that the local law mandates she make a minimum wage due to her disability. So that’s when Sonya decided to start her own business and employ Bron, in the hopes that her daughter would eventually become “financially secure and be able to travel to New York and buy the house she dreams of,” the proud mom tells Babble.

And the business idea could not be better. A traveling coffee van? Yes please.

Bronwyn Lovell poses by the Que Sera Sera Coffee van, holding up a peace sign.
Image Source: Sonya Lovell

Que Sera Sera Coffee Van was launched four months ago, and the mother-daughter team has been bustling about and chatting with customers as they prepare their fresh coffee ever since.

“My job is taking orders and people say hello, [answering] questions, and Mum does making coffees and stuff like that,” Bron shared with Australian news outlet ABC. “Mum makes me happy. [I] enjoy working in the van with her. She makes my day.”

And if that’s not enough to make your heart burst open, Sonya says that she feels exactly the same.

“We get along really well,” she says, adding that Bron makes her laugh all day and “keeps her in line.”

What an amazing pair.

Sonya Lovell kisses her daughter Bronwyn on the cheek.
Image Source: Sonya Lovell

Bron has had previous employment, but she’s usually required to have a support worker alongside her, which can be difficult. In the van, however, her support worker is her mom — and she’s always there, every step of the way. However, Sonya tells ABC, “Some days she’s actually acting as my support worker as well.”

In just a few short months, Bron and Sonya’s successful business venture has shown the world that disabilities don’t have to hold you back.

“It actually is breaking down stereotypes,” Sonya told ABC, as many people think someone with Down syndrome or other disabilities cannot do the job. “But Bron has proven where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

And there’s more. Just when you thought this story couldn’t get any better, Bron and Sonya have started giving back to their community through a program called “Pouring it Forward,” which lets customers purchase coffees to be donated to service workers like nurses or EMTs, as well as the homeless. And the mother-daughter team plans to put the profits from those sales into a fund to “help another disadvantaged person trying to start a business or get into work.”

Bronwyn Lovell smiles as she rings a customer up.
Image Source: Sonya Lovell

This hard working mom wants to pay it forward after someone did that same thing for her and helped her get Que Sera Sera Coffee up and running.

“We purchased the business in February this year,” Sonya tells Babble. “The owner of the company who ‘built’ it really listened to my dream and made it happen, including helping to find a company to finance it.”

Sonya says she’d love to grow the business, maybe even own a fleet of vans someday. But for now, she’s just enjoying this time with her daughter.

“Bron loves interacting with the customers, loves taking the orders and helping to get things ready for the day,” Sonya shares with Babble. “She is also loving learning new skills — she recently started making hot chocolates. She especially loves it when we attend festivals and special events.”

Sonya Lovell's mobile coffee van is shown with the back trunk up.
Image Source: Sonya Lovell

Wow. What a beautiful story, start to finish, of kindness, acceptance of differences, and perseverance — all wrapped up in one mobile coffee shop that probably smells amazing.

I’ll take a vanilla latte please!

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