The Rooster’s Perch has closed, but Randy and Friends is still operating and reaching out to adults with disabilities in the community.
The nonprofit had operated The Rooster’s Perch, a coffee shop and bookstore on Bradford Street in downtown Gainesville, since 2012. The shop was first located on Main Street, then moved closer to the square in 2014. The space is now listed for rent.
Marty Owens, who founded the nonprofit with her son Randy in 2012, said the location ended up not being sustainable. But the community can still support Randy and Friends — and the people they serve — by visiting the organization’s location Randy's Place at 470 Woodsmill Road in Gainesville, about a mile from the square.
At that location, adults with special needs learn both woodworking and life skills while creating handmade goods, including ornaments, furniture and home decor. Associates can work with customers to create custom products.
Randy and Friends also works with people to identify their interests and skills, then pairs them with a local employer so they can gain job experience and spend time in the community. The nonprofit has helped people get jobs with several employers, including restaurants, churches and grocery stores.
Classes and skills training are also offered at the Woodsmill Road location.
“We’re always having classes so they can become more independent. ... We have the opportunity for them to try different skills and see where their abilities are, so they can see what kind of a future they could have, can be successful and gain independence,” Owens said.
Randy and Friends works with people from Hall and surrounding counties, and the group can be reached at 678-971-5220.