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Roosters Perch opens new downtown location
Organization provides location for people with disabilities to socialize
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Adam Michelsen, from left, Scotty Tani and Jake Maloney play games at The Rooster’s Perch at its new location in downtown Gainesville. - photo by Kelsey Williamson

The Rooster’s Perch

What: A coffee and gift shop benefiting adults with disabilities
Where: 210 Bradford St., Gainesville
When: 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday
More info: www.randyandfriends.org

Last weekend, The Rooster’s Perch, a local meeting place for people with and without disabilities, opened the doors to a brand-new central location at 210 Bradford St. in Gainesville with hopes of growth for its patrons and the community.

“We are looking to make adults with disabilities a part of the community, and we started The Rooster’s Perch as a coffee shop because it is a natural place for people to visit and socialize,” said Marty Owens, founder of The Rooster’s Perch and Randy and Friends.

She created the Randy and Friends organization to help realize this goal but soon noticed the members needed a location to meet and socialize.

The Rooster’s Perch first opened in 2012 as a coffee and gift shop to bring those with and without disabilities together.

After about a year, Owens noticed the adults in the organization needed more space and a better location to be able to meet and work together to enhance their gifts. They found the Bradford Street space and spent about two months creating the coffee shop, gift nook and sitting area.

“The other location only had one room, so here we are able to have a more private dining room, room for classes, and a gift shop,” Owens said.

The more spacious location provides plenty of room for adults with disabilities to come learn various skills, from sewing to crafting and woodworking.

“Our classes are determined by the people who come to us and offer a skill that they can teach our participants who want to learn something new,” Owens said. “We make cornhole tosses, T-shirt scarves, turkey calls, pottery and other things.”

Catherine Goodsell teaches various crafts to the participants at The Rooster’s Perch, such as sewing beanbags for the cornhole boards.

“I got involved with The Rooster’s Perch about two or three months ago,” Goodsell said. “I love to sew and do crafts, and Marty and her compassion for these challenged people drew me here. I came knowing that I could use my skills to help improve their lives.”

In the new space, Goodsell is able to offer more crafting classes, such as one on making T-shirt scarves to sell in the gift shop.

“Hopefully the new location will bring more exposure to the organization,” Goodsell said.

Owens noted the participants enjoy being able to meet more people in the new location and are preparing to begin making ornaments and other holiday items to sell.

The founder of The Rooster’s Perch said she hopes being downtown will bring more participants to the group, especially for the holidays.

“We will be opening more hours,” Owens said. “We will also be offering a gift wrap service during the holiday season. It’s all been good so far.”

Regional events